Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 18, 2018

Music InMotion celebrates 25 years

Cedar Rapids Xavier High School takes first
Feb 05, 2018

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


As the first performance of the day, Central Lee High School’s show choir “C-Force” already had the odds stacked against them. Senior Bowen Richmond said that it was up to them to build the atmosphere that would carry the other 13 show choirs at the Mt. Pleasant Community High School’s Music InMotion invitational through the competition on Saturday, Feb. 3.

This is the 25th annual show choir invitational hosted by Mt. Pleasant Community High School (MPCHS). Not only is it a fan-favorite, but many of the invited show choirs expressed their appreciation for all the MPCHS’s show choir InMotion students do to create a comfortable environment, despite the nerves that plague any show choir competition.

Central Lee High School junior Summer Smith said that this is her favorite competition because it’s where all the main schools (we)compete against perform. Although each performance on Saturday was fraught with faulty microphones, show choir students know how to roll with it.

“You may have one bad performance, but you really have to bounce back,” Smith said. “It’s very high pressure.”

One of the first soloists of the day, Richmond said that the microphone cutting out created a “nervous mood” for everyone, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying the invitational and congratulating other choirs on their performance.

Formerly a student at Fairfield High School, Richmond appreciates the more competitive spirit of Central Lee’s show choir. Transferring schools, he had to learn how to dance while singing and build up the stamina to do so for five songs in a row.

“At the end of the day, [competitions] bring you closer as a family,” Richmond said.

Central Lee is working under their third director in just as many years. Smith said this one, they think will stick. “I think he’ll find his home with us,” she said. “He will have fun with us and joke around, but also will stop us and say ‘Do you want to win? Then shut up.’”

“I like him,” Richmond said. “He puts his foot down. We were getting yelled at during warm-up [during the invitational], but we needed it,” he admitted with a smirk.

Since show choir is an extracurricular at Central Lee, C-Force has only practiced a couple dozen times compared to other school’s show choirs who have rehearsal built into their class schedule. Smith said that because there is never a practice where every choir member is able to attend because of conflicting extracurriculars and athletics, even during warm-up during the invitational they were tweaking where students stood during their ballad number.

That’s a common practice for show choir’s, however. Their show is never truly perfect, and they are constantly making changes and improving their technique. MPCHS junior Sammy Decker said that while watching other choirs throughout the day, she was reminded to perform with energy, focus on diction and pay attention to the dynamics of the group.

“All of that has been incredible and it’s something to keep in mind in our competing season,” Decker said.

MPCHS sophomore Claire Holtkamp agreed, saying that watching other schools perform is a great way to learn how to perform better. As the host school, InMotion didn’t compete in the invitational, however, they were still scored by the judges on their performance.

Performing on Saturday was a great way to kickoff their competing season, freshman Logan Lee said, admitting that there still is some work to do, but they will strengthen their performance as they go.

As the host school, InMotion performed while the judges were tallying scores for the final. MPCHS senior Wyatt Carlston said that nerves get moving as the day progresses because they don’t perform until the end of the day.

“There’s a lot of competition we have to worry about here,” Carlston said.

He wasn’t the only one worried about the competition. Xavier High School’s Xhilaration arrived a little bit later than the other schools to the invitational. With many of their students involved in other extracurriculars, a morning Speech competition prevented them from arriving with the rest of the schools.

Xavier High School junior Alli Scallion was one of the students who gave a speech performance in the morning and rushed to make the show choir bus by 10:40 a.m. “My mom drove me to speech and she promised I would make it to show choir on time,” she said. “I love performing, so it’s just a joy for me,” Scallion added, saying Xhilaration won Grand Champions at Music InMotion during the 2017 competition.

“I’m concerned about the pressure of being Grand Champions last year,” she said as she nervously applied her makeup.

As Scallion sat in front of mirrors helping other girls get ready, sophomores Julianna Karl and Emma Stadelmann were focusing on how they were going to best perform in Xhilaration’s combo.

Karl said that although she’s sure their combo director would like them to feel the pressure of the day, she felt no pressure at all. “I love competing,” she said.

Stadelmann, however, said she was a bit nervous for the show because the music starts out in an irregular rhythm. Once the combo gets into it though, she foresaw no problems. Speaking to her strengths, Stadelmann said she usually pays more attention to other school’s combos than she does to their choir’s.

“A good combo is one that can really show off during dance breaks,” she said. “It’s nice if they’re given a time to shine.”

In the hallway outside of the room Xhilaration was preparing in, Davenport Central High School students were taking the down time between shows to hold a photo shoot with the lockers as backdrop.

Sophomore Joelle Trasowech, who had performed in Davenport’s prep group Blue Vibrations earlier that morning, said that she loves the atmosphere of show choir competitions because after a show, when they’re walking offstage “sweaty and gross,” other groups will compliment them on their performance.

“It’s competitive, but it’s not cut throat,” Trasowech said.

Davenport senior Joe Lasher said that the time in between performances and spending time in the hallways is a way to blow off steam and promote bonding between the varsity show choir, prep show choir and combo and crew. Invitationals can be emotionally draining because they work for hours for a performance that’s over in 18 minutes, he said.

“It feels like five minutes,” Trasowech added.

While Trasowech and Lasher were sorting through the best pictures for Instagram, sophomore Aiden Heidgerken was engrossed in a game of Super Smash Bros. Five Central Lee High School students were huddled around a TV they brought from home and plugged into the wall in the hallway.

“It helps you ease stress between competitions,” Heidgerken said, adding that they don’t spend the entire day playing video games. It’s usually an average of three hours staring at the screen. The rest of the day is spent performing, watching other groups perform and goofing off in between sets.

In the cafeteria, Benton High School senior Kobe Schumecker sat spacing off after their performance. In both varsity choir and prep combo, Schumecker said it can get stressful at times, but he still is in every band possible and choir possible. As a senior, each invitational is a wake-up call.

“Each performance is more difficult as it gets closer to being the last,” Schumecker said.

He believes that his show choir, Celebration Co., tries their hardest at all times and he really enjoys showing off to everyone else; however, “Overall, I think our vocal quality lacked energy,” he said after their afternoon performance.

Even though Schumecker said he thought Celebration Co. could have done better, they made it to the finals that evening along with South Side Sensation from South St. Paul High School, Revelation from Des Moines Roosevelt High School, River City Revue from Hannibal High School and Xhilaration.

And Alli Scallion had no need to fret earlier that afternoon as she applied her makeup in Xavior’s practice room as they were, for the second year in a row, named Grand Champion’s of the Music InMotion Show Choir Invitational.

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