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Riverside Company wins top honors in Eau Claire

The weekend went pretty well for the Hastings show choirs. The top show choir, Riverside Company, won the grand champion award at the Eau Claire Memorial Winterfest competition.

They also won for best vocals. And best choreography. And best band. And Rachel Bruch-Andersen was named the outstanding female soloist at the competition.

Upstage Revolution didn't fare too poorly, either, placing third in their division.

"It was a very tough competition," director Lin Warren said. "I had a feeling we'd make finals, but it was a tough competition. To know that we swept all the caption awards and got best band - it was great."

As the season goes on, the students in each choir can refine their shows, and that's what they are all busy doing. That's made a big difference in all the levels, including Riverside Company.

"We continue to refine things and work on the details - that's the difference," Warren said. "The key is to continue to refine it and be really detail oriented. We need to make sure all the singing components and choreography components are as close to perfect as possible. That's an ongoing process."

The next meet for Hastings is here, when the choirs play host to Swingin' on the River, a big competition set for Saturday, Feb. 23, at HHS. Teams from Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin will compete at the meet. This is the 14th annual show here.

Hastings won't compete at the meet, but all three choirs will perform.

On the first weekend of March, Hastings will compete in a meet at Totino-Grace High School. In the first weekend of April, Hastings will compete at the national meet in Nashville, Tenn. Riverside Company will perform on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

"That will be a really exciting and unique performance opportunity - just to get to go there," Warren said. "Then they get to perform on the stage."

Chad Richardson

Chad Richardson is the news director for RiverTown Multimedia. He was the publisher of four RiverTown publications until 2016, when he was named news director. He was previously general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He worked at the Hastings Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.

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