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Public Invited to Show Choir Competition Saturday

St. C. Singers Celebrate Another Grand Championship, to Perform Last Local 2020 Show

The St. C. Singers perform their award-winning show “Dead Men Tell No Tales” during a competition this season. The Singers will play host to 11 show choirs from Ohio and West Virginia on Saturday at Buckeye Local High School in Rayland at the annual St. C. Division III Show Choir Invitational. (Photo Provided)

RAYLAND –Show choirs from schools throughout Ohio and West Virginia will make their way to the Ohio Valley this weekend as the St. C. Singers host their annual competition, the St. Clairsville Division III Show Choir Invitational.

The event takes place all day Saturday at Buckeye Local High School, located just of Ohio 150 in Rayland. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Scheduled to compete at this year’s invitational are show choirs from as far as Cincinnati, Ohio and Charleston, W.Va., and many places in between. The St. C. Division III Invitational is unique in the world of show choir competitions as only smaller schools with high school enrollment of 750 and under are invited to compete. This levels the playing field for many show choirs from smaller schools since most competitions have finalist squaring off for top prizes regardless of school size, and in those arenas, big schools with much larger show choir budgets almost always claim the championship titles.

Division III schools may be smaller in size, but their shows pack a punch, according to the St. C. Vocal Music Boosters, which puts on the competition at the end of the St. C. Singers season each year as its biggest fundraising event.

The shows are highly entertaining, and the competition is always fierce, members of the boosters noted.

The St. C. Singers perform their award-winning show “Dead Men Tell No Tales” during a competition this season. The Singers will play host to 11 show choirs from Ohio and West Virginia on Saturday at Buckeye Local High School in Rayland at the annual St. C. Division III Show Choir Invitational. Above, the St. C. Singers celebrate after earning the Grand Champion trophy last Saturday at the South Harrison Showcase in Lost Creek, W.Va. (Photo Provided)

This year’s competition brings at 10 a.m. and continues with finals and evening awards at 9:30 p.m.

Slated to compete in the 2020 event are 11 groups, with show choirs from Ohio schools including Licking Valley, New Lexington, Norwood, Jonathan Adler, Ada and Milton-Union, and West Virginia schools including South Harrison (High School and Middle School), Ravenswood, Sissonville and Poca.

Performing in exhibition (not competing) will be the St. C. Little Singers, St. C. Sweet Harmony and host group St. C. Singers, which just last week brought home the title of Grand Champion after winning the South Harrison Showcase in Lost Creek, W.Va. This is the fifth Grand Championship title earned by the Singers in the past five years, and only the sixth in the group’s history, which spans nearly three decades as a competing show choir and nearly four decades as a vocal group.

During this competition season, the St. C. Singers also won trophies for Best Female Soloist (Zoey Russell), Best Set Design, Best Dressed Director, Best Choreography, Best Vocals and Judges’ Choice awards.

Under the Direction of Wayne Berk and assistant director director Kristen Rateno, the St. C. Singers scheduled to perform their award-winning, pirate-themed show “Dead Men Tell No Tales” one last time for area crowds during the invitational at 4:45 p.m. Saturday. The group will then deliver the show’s final performance in March during a trip to Disney World as part of Festival Disney, where the St. C. Singers — as well as St. Clairsville’s Concert Band, St. C. Chamber Choir and St. C. Sweet Harmony — will compete against other groups from across the nation.

The St. C. Singers perform their award-winning show “Dead Men Tell No Tales” during a competition this season. The Singers will play host to 11 show choirs from Ohio and West Virginia on Saturday at Buckeye Local High School in Rayland at the annual St. C. Division III Show Choir Invitational. (Photo Provided)

Organizers of Saturday’s event noted that most people in the Ohio Valley are not familiar with show choir since the St. C. Singers for decades have been the only competing show choir group in the region.

In other areas of Ohio and West Virginia– particularly in many high schools west of Columbus and several in West Virginia between Huntington and Charleston — show choirs have a huge following.

Show choir shows are performed on risers to accommodate an average of around 50 choir members who are backed by a live band or small orchestra, which also is comprised of students. The groups’ members include an all-student technical crew that helps bring “magic” to the show by coordinating stage sets, dramatic lighting, necessary props and other essential elements of the show.

When it’s all put together, the performance tells a story through sound and vision, with all the stage theatrics, glitz and dazzle of a highlight reel from the big ensemble numbers from a Broadway musical — condensed into a 15- to 20-minute show.

“Show choir is a combination of singing, dancing and theater,” Deedra Balgo, president of the St. C. Vocal Music Boosters, explained. “These kids have the trifecta and are super talented. If you’ve never seen a show choir before, this is the perfect opportunity.”

Awards for Saturday’s competition will be presented for People’s Choice, Best Band, Best Tech Crew, Best Vocal Sound, Best Costumes, Best Choreography, Best Show Concept, Best Female Soloist, Best Male Soloist, and Most Outstanding Performer for each of the participating schools, as well as awards for the five top finishers with trophies for Fourth-Runner-Up through Grand Champion.

The St. C. Division III Show Choir Invitational boasts some of the best accommodations the region’s show choir schools have to offer, including a lunch and dinner menu that raises the bar for fundraiser cuisine.

There will also be bake sale smorgasbord, flowers, shout-outs, T-shirts by American Graphix and Apparel, candy-grams, raffles and more.

All proceeds benefit the St. C. Vocal Music Boosters, which support the St. C. Singers and the many other vocal music programs at St. Clairsville High School.

There will be different admission prices for all-day passes, daytime-only passes and evening passes that will be valid from 4 p.m. and thereafter for the local groups’ performances and finals.

For more information online, visit the St. C. Singers on the group’s official page on Facebook or visit the website at www.stcsingers.com.

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