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Show choir season gets off to a great start for Riverside Company, Upstage Revolution

The trend right now in competitive show choirs across the nation is for there to be props everywhere. Backstage resembles a construction zone for many teams.

This year at least, the top Hastings show choir is taking a different approach – a much simpler one.

“It’s a very classic show choir show – much different than we’ve done in the past,” director Lin Warren said. “It focuses on really good singing and really good dancing. The trend right now is for an enormous number of props. We thought that this year we should get back to what is important.”

The approach appears to be working.

The Riverside Company earned the Grand Champion award at its first competition of the season on Saturday. Hastings won the title at the Onalaska Show Choir Classic in La Crosse, Wis. Hastings also won caption awards for best vocals and best band.

“The first competition is always really scary, regardless of how many times you’ve done it,” Warren said. “It’s a new season. A new show. You never really know.

“I’ve always thought it was a show that would judge well. The kids really stepped it up in finals – substantially.”

The choir takes a step through time with its routine. They start in the future and work their way back, closing with some 1920s music with the women in flapper dresses and the men in tuxes with tails. The songs to close are “This Joint is Jumpin” and “Steppin Out With My Baby.” There are a number of current songs, too.

“It’s a really nice mix of tunes,” Warren said. “It’s a really fun show.”

Hastings has competitions every weekend now. This weekend they are near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to compete at Linn-Mar.

Officers this year for Riverside Company are: Courtney Fasbender, president; Miranda Poncelet, vice president; Josh Brown and Whitney Hernlem are secretaries.

In a separate soloist competition at the event, Rachel Bruch-Andersen fared well. She was picked to perform the song “365 Days” by ZZ Ward.

Upstage Revolution, another HHS show choir, placed second. They missed winning the title by 1.5 points.