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Top Hastings show choir won a 21-team meet Saturday in Omaha

Riverside Company, pictured during their annual preview show at Hastings High School earlier this year, was the Grand Champion at Saturday's meet at Omaha Westside. The Hastings program now turns its attention to their annual competition here, Swinging on the River, planned for Feb. 25 at HHS. (Photo courtesy of Deanna Werner)1 / 3
Members of Riverside Company perform at the team's preview show recently. From left to right are Molly Streiff, Ariel Fuchs and Leslie Lucking. (Photo courtesy of Deanna Werner)2 / 3
Riverside Company earned Grand Champion, Best Choreography and Best Vocals at a competition Saturday in Omaha, Neb. In addition to those honors, Sean Kelly earned the Best Male Soloist award. (Photo courtesy of Deanna Werner)3 / 3

All season long, the top Hastings show choir, Riverside Company, has been hard at work to improve its performance.

That hard work is now showing up in the team's results.

After countless rehearsals late last year, the team opened its competitive season Jan. 7 at Viterbo University with a strong field of opposition.

Hastings advanced to finals and placed as the meet's third runner-up. It was a good finish considering eight of the groups at the meet had previously won the competition. And, the first competition showed the team what it had to get fixed during the season.

The next weekend, at a 24-team meet at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Hastings improved and placed as the second runner-up. Hastings senior Sean Kelly earned the outstanding male soloist award at the competition.

Hastings then had two weeks to keep working its routine, especially the final aspect to the show, the closer.

"We have been battling with our closer," director Lin Warren said. "It didn't close as strong as it needed to. We've been tweaking it and changing it and rearranging it. We finally got some impact out of the closer and that really helped."

Hastings unveiled the revamped routine at Saturday's 21-choir meet in Omaha, Neb., and Riverside Company came home with the big hardware. The team won Grand Champion, Best Choreography, Best Vocals and Kelly again won for best male soloist.

"It was a good weekend," Warren said.

The team is made up of 53 members. There are 14 student in the backup band, and three more on the crew. Countless parent volunteers are involved, too.

John Hanson directs the backup band.

The choreographer is Steven Todd.

Ana Kraemer has helped with the choreography and costumes.

All the Hastings show choirs, including Riverside Company, The Divaz and Upstage Revolution, will now be hard at work on their own meet, Swinging on the River, which is planned for Feb. 25 at HHS.

The competitive season then picks up again for Hastings.