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Riverside Company places 2nd in the nation at show choir finals

Members of Riverside Company are pictured here with their second-place trophy. The group competed at the FAME National Show Choir Championship in Chicago on Saturday. Submitted photo

About 11 months ago, work began on the 2014 Hastings High School show choir program. Tryouts were held and then, over the summer, themes were chosen, song choices were made and choreography was put in place.

On Saturday, all that work paid off.

It’s easy to say that, in their final performance, the Riverside Company from HHS left an impression. The team placed second at the FAME National Show Choir Championship in Chicago.

“Everything went well,” director Lin Warren said. “It was their best show by far. It was as close to flawless as I’ve ever had a show get.”

Hastings also won caption awards for best overall vocals and best women’s sound.

The overall winner was Mt. Zion, Ill.

In a wild turn of events, Warren learned that the two schools had actually tied for the win with 911 points. Five of the event’s six judges were then polled to rank the two schools. Whichever team had the most first-place votes between those five judges was declared the winner. Mount Zion had three first-place votes and Riverside Company had two.

“It was neck and neck,” Warren said.

After all of the team’s hard work over the past year, Warren said he was just thrilled to see the team perform so well when it mattered most.

“With a performance of that caliber — there’s no way to describe how incredible that was,” he said. “At the same time, they seemed to just go out and have a good time. That’s what you want them to do. We’d spent months perfecting and cleaning and nuancing every part of the show. In that last performance, you just want to go out and have fun, and they did.”

Warren said that the commitment from the students made the season what it was. The team even rehearsed at a Chicagoland school the night before the final performance.

“One thing I’ll saw about this show – I’ll never get tired of it,” he said. “I don’t think the kids did either. Were they tired of rehearsing? Absolutely, but they wanted to put everything out they had, and do all the last-minute touches they could so that they could compete at the level that they did.”

A total of 13 teams competed in the field at the meet.


Students weren’t the only ones honored with trophies and awards.

Warren earned an Aspire award for Vocal Vanguard from the Academy of Show Choir Professionals.

According to the FAME website, the “Aspire Awards are the show choir industry’s highest honor to individuals working in the classroom and behind the scenes to create some of the nation’s best show choirs.”