CRCSD Show Choirs Take the Stage

 Happiness performs their closer, Welcome To The Show.
Happiness performs their closer, “Welcome To The Show”.
Kiera Zwack
Happiness members dance their closing number.

Kennedy’s varsity show choir, Happiness Inc., is known for their energetic shows and all out fun themes—and this year is no different. With the theme of “theater camp,” Happiness uses up-beat songs and fast choreography to create a memorable show. 

Not only is the show enjoyable, with songs from Disney’s Camp Rock and High School Musical, but the choir also has great projection and diction that heightens the experience for the audience. 

Their performance utilizes many small solos that fit the theme. One solo in particular stands out.

Senior Raiya Hurt does an amazing job during the ballad with a heartfelt solo that gives the show raw emotion. In contrast to all the other songs, the ballad is emotional and gives the audience a break from the fast paced performance in the second song, “Open Call,” that has six different solos.

When the choir joins back in amazing vocals and the use of overlapping lyrics and different harmonies make the ballad the most memorable song.

The rest of the show also has fantastic vocals. Happiness was one of the loudest choirs that I got to watch. Their projection was tremendously better than any other choir. 

There is a childish energy embodied by the show with their use of props and a good story line. The costumes are perfect for the theme but aren’t typical for show choir. The first costumes are a mixture of different t-shirts with the Happiness logo and a variety of shorts. Though this is very fun, the colors don’t blend well and make the show look messy. 

There is a costume change right before the ballad, theses second costumes have opposite problems. They are typical show choir costumes but fail to fit the theme. Having costumes that are cohesive, nice to look at and fitting to the theme are necessary for a good show. 

Choreography during the performance also fits the theme but looks messy. Different costumes do not blend well with each other and make it look like nobody is doing the right moves. This can also be attributed to the blocking.

Blocking during parts of the show is very unique—boys are in a weird configuration for most songs that is hard to distinguish. With gendered choreography and inconsistent costuming, this type of blocking looks like a mess.

Happiness members manage difficult choreography and fast paced dance breaks that many other groups would not be able to do. The choreography is very synchronized but it is hard to look past the blocking and costumes.

The show closes with a beautiful piece which pushes the heartfelt theme seen within the ballad. After the costume change individual choreography is a lot easier to see and really shows the talent of the performers.  

Happiness leaves their audience with memories from their own childhood and the joys of summer camp. This show is splendid because of the brilliant vocals from the choir and soloists and also because of the strenuous choreography that Happiness is known for.

Kennedy will compete at Jefferson High School’s show choir invitational on March 2. This is a great show for all ages and will bring you back to your childhood years, leaving you with tremendous ‘happiness.’ 

Happiness members dance their closing number. (River Borgerding)
Washington High Schools Momentum performs at Kennedys Raise The Roof!

Washington High School hosted their annual Mo-Show Extravaganza over the past weekend. The beloved competition was hosted by their varsity show choir and the namesake of the event, Momentum. 

Momentum is an auditioned group with members from all grade levels. Their theme for the 2023-24 school year is all about death. The unique theme gives the performance excitement that doesn’t come from any other group. 

The show opens with “The Whole ‘Being Dead’ Thing” from the Broadway musical Beetlejuice. Music from this show is typically seen as extremely difficult but junior soloist Eloise Prince did a fantastic job. The fast-paced nature of this song would be impossible for most. 

There are a total of five solos in their show and each one does a fantastic job not only with diction and projection but also performing. Soloists interacted with the crowd and had great energy that separated the show from others. 

Songs were expertly chosen and the choir does a spectacular job with tough choreography and restrictive costumes to really show off the theme.

Typical show choir costumes are suits and small dresses that make it easy to dance in, but Momentum choses to go outside of the norm and dance in victorian-style outfits with long coats and ballrooms dresses. These costumes are not just beautiful but also show the talent that the performers have to be able to dance in them. 

To go with the costumes, all the members of Momentum have black chalk painted on their faces, making it look like the performers themself are dead. 

The costume change after the ballad is also atypical as they don’t actually change costumes but instead the boys take off their coats and the girls take off their long skirts. The girl’s costume change happens on stage. Though this doesn’t give the same shock that would normally come from a costume change, it still fits the show.

The whole choir also does a fantastic job with diction and projection. A negative aspect of many show choirs is that you can’t hear the song lyrics and instead of getting to enjoy the show you spend the entire time trying to figure out what they are saying. This does not happen with Washington. The lyrics are very clear even during the hardest choreography.

The choreography itself is also magnificent with many fast paced movements and jumps that take enormous amounts of time and dedication to perfect. The choreography fits the theme, making the whole show fuse together. 

The show is mesmerizing to watch as the members move spots with the songs and dance moves. Many times choirs will change blocking after a song and it will look like the performers are lost on stage as they all move around each other in a rush. Momentum does not have this issue. They move spots with the choreography making it look cohesive and precise.

Unique blocking made the show look confusing, especially during the boys’ song. Configurations during that song were messy. The first few rows were organized, but people on the risers looked like they were told to stand anywhere. 

Overall, Momentum put on a memorable performance full of excitement. The costumes were breathtaking, vocals were impressive and choreography was captivating. There was minimal use of props during the show, which gave Momentum the classic show choir feel that many people love. 

This season Washington was awarded First Runner-Up and Peoples Choice at Anamosa’s Sadie Street Showcase and Second Runner-Up and Best Ballad at Holmen Gathering. 

Washington High School’s Momentum performs at Kennedy’s “Raise The Roof!” (Isaac White)
Jefferson High Schools West Side Delegation performs at Prairie Premiere.

Jefferson High School’s varsity show choir West Side Delegation is an audition group with members from grades 10-12. Their 2024 show is titled “Work For It” and is all about putting in effort to get what you want. 

West Side Delegation has beautiful opening costumes and near perfect choreography which makes the show entertaining. Their first set of costumes are pastel colored suits for the boys and classic silver dresses for the girls. The outfits blend well together and give the show an aesthetically pleasing look. 

Choreography during most of the show is perfectly in-sync but the blend of costume colors makes the gendered choreography look unpleasant since there is not a clear difference between the boys and girls. 

West Side utilizes unique dance moves and expertly placed dance breaks but small movements are often used in choreography. At times this can look haphazard because having grand gestures instead of small movements can make the show look cleaner overall. 

Performers do terrific with dance breaks, which are typically hard to perfect. Though the first dance break lacks the over the top energy seen with most choirs, their other dance breaks make up for this by being clean and exciting. 

The choir does an amazing job with vocals for the ballad and second song in particular but the audio in other songs is soprano heavy and they lose the blend needed for a good choir. This problem arises a few times in their show, especially during the girls’ song. 

Projection during the show lacks the grandeur seen with some other varsity choirs, but the lyrics are very clear. 

Soloists during the show do a fantastic job and all sound beautiful. Sophomore, Sophia Parker and Senior, Ben Goudy both do a fantastic job with creating emotion in an up-beat show during the ballad. 

Jefferson has one of the best blocking configurations I have seen in choirs this year. Performers do a great job arriving at their spots on time and overall the show looks very balanced. 

After the ballad there is a group costume change. The new costumes fit the theme, but are off-putting. The transition from pastels to fire decals is unappealing but they perform with more energy after the costume change. 

Jefferson performs as an exhibition at their annual show choir invitational on March 2. 

Jefferson High School’s West Side Delegation performs at Prairie Premiere. (Greg Morningstar)
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