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Members of Riverside Company pose after winning the grand championship at Totino Grace this past Saturday. Submitted photo

Show choirs win big at last competition of the season

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Hastings Star Gazette
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Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

Hastings High School’s show choirs have a reputation for excellence. But this past weekend, they went above and beyond.

“Riverside’s performance in finals was one of the more amazing performances of any Riverside show choir ever,” said director Lin Warren. “It was unbelievable.

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“The judges actually stood up in the middle of it, which is very unusual.”

Riverside Company, Upstage Revolution and Divaz all competed in the regional competition at Totino Grace on Saturday. It was the last competition of the show choir season and the students went out on a high note. Riverside was the grand champion and took caption awards for best vocals and best choreography.

“There was quite a lot of great choirs there, and that’s the first time in a long time that they’ve won the A division,” Warren said.

There were a total of eight choirs competing in the A division Saturday, including Riverside Company.

What made the win even more incredible was the fact that during warm-ups just prior to the performance, Riverside made some changes to its show. They didn’t have much time at all to rehearse the changes before incorporating them into the show in front of the judges, and they still did well.

“(That is) a true testament to the true talent and ability of this group,” Warren said.

Upstage Revolution took first place in the prep division. Lukas Leahy, a junior, won best male soloist in the prep division.

“I was fortunate to be able to watch it,” Warren said of Leahy’s performance. “He was really on, really engaged and he sang beautifully, of course.”

National competition

Although last weekend’s performance was the last of the regular season, the Hastings choirs still have some work to do.

The next big show will be March 29 in Branson, Mo., where Riverside will be attempting to qualify for the FAME National Show Choir Championship. The Branson qualifier is one of six qualifying events across the nation. The top three of each event will compete for the national championship in Chicago in the end of April.

Riverside has been competing at the national level for the last two years. Last year, Riverside placed second in the national competition, held at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.

Local shows

Hastings area fans still have a chance to see the HHS choirs perform. Two post-season shows are scheduled for Tuesday, March 25, in the HHS auditorium. Shows will begin at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and all three show choirs will perform.

HHS did a similar show last year, Warren said, and it sold out. So this year, the second show was added so more people can have a chance to see the students perform.

Tickets are $8 for reserved seating and $5 for general admission. Advanced tickets will be available at the service desk by the lower doors in the high school commons area daily from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., as well as prior to each show March 25.

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the 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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