Show choirs take home first place in competitions

Show choirs Innovation and Synergy performed at Showzam in exhibition shows at Showzam Saturday, Jan. 24.

Olivia White, Staff Writer

The prep and varsity show choirs, Synergy and Innovation, both took home first place Jan. 10 at their first competition of the season in Cedar Rapids, IA. “Hearing ‘Johnston Innovation’ being named as grand champions is something I will never forget,” Innovation member, junior Sami Schaer said.

Along with the victory, Innovation ended Wakuee’s streak of 10 consecutive competitions winning grand champion. “I think knowing we earned grand champ over groups like Waukee, a group that is incredibly talented and respected in the show choir world, just made the win mean even more,” Innovation member, junior Jessica Battani said. “We didn’t go into the competition intending to end their win streak, we just wanted to perform the best show we possibly could, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we did just that.”

Awards followed the two performances later in the night.  “No one was focused on how awards were going to go later; we all knew we had given our best performance yet,” Battani said. “That in itself was worth all that hard work.”

After awards were announced, Innovation and Synergy were crowned champions in their divisions, with Innovation placing above Waukee to end their win streak.  “It was amazing to beat Waukee, ” Innovation member, junior Sarah Henry said. “but the coolest part about it was actually the way we preformed and just came together as a team.”

The following week,  Jan. 17, Innovation again won the title of grand champion at their second competition of the season. “Now we have a reputation to uphold,” Henry said. “Basically we’re the team to beat and honestly it feels super cool.”

Rehearsals started for the season back in August, and hard work was put into these first shows, with weekly rehearsals as well as occasional extra rehearsals on weekends and over break. “It’s just so cool that we can all come together and work for the same goal,” Henry said.

Not only that, but the behind the scenes with people who volunteer countless hours to prepare costumes, set up bands and gather a crew. “I think there’s a lot more work than people realize that goes into putting a great show choir set together,” Battani said.

To push through these endless hours of practices, teammate support is very important part of it all to the show choir members. “So, lately, our director has been extremely into ‘hashtags’,” junior Kennedy Kramer said, an Innovation performer. “So this season we’ve decided to sum it up as #focused. The reasoning behind it is when we are focused, we know we can do great things. So keeping ourselves and our teammates focused is our biggest goal this season.”

With a new show choir director, Hannah Ryan, both teams seem to be in full force.

Our new director, Mrs. Ryan, has truly hit the ground running”

— junior Kennedy Kramer

“She challenges us to be the best we can be and she genuinely loves all of her students and the work she is doing to make us the choir we are today,” Kramer said.

Ryan has been proud of Innovation this season so far. “It’s kind of crazy the reputation that we have built for ourselves in the past few weeks,” she said. “There is now some pressure to prove to everybody that we really deserve those grand championships, but I keep reminding the students that we got them because we know our show really well and are genuine performers.”

With only two competitions down, much of the season still remains. “Synergy and [Innovation] both are already having spectacular seasons,” Schaer said. “And I think students should look forward to a new era of Johnston show choir.”

Innovation and Synergy both have four more competitions this season, and are preparing for their next competition Feb. 14 in Keokuk, IA.