I don't think I'd heard of show choirs until about the last few years we lived in New Jersey. And that was before the Glee craze hit. I'm not even sure where I first heard of them, because I don't think the high school in Voorhees had one, and I know I never saw one perform. But I remember thinking two things upon my introduction to the concept: 1) that sounds kind of cheesy, and 2) I would have loved that in high school.
Fast forward to last night, when my eldest, her boyfriend and I went to the show choir preview night at their high school. Friends outside of Siouxland will have a hard time believing this, and maybe even really getting it, but show choir is KING at East High School in Sioux City. They rocked show choir before show choir was cool.
East High has three different show choirs -- a beginner's/freshman girls' group, a mid-level mixed group and then . . . the Headliners. Wow. The Headliners are one of the best show choirs in the country. In a contest last year for a show choir to win a spot on the TV show "Glee", East High's Headliners was one of the final three groups voted on nation-wide. They are seriously good. But I'd only seen them perform once before, briefly at a one-day show choir camp my youngest attended. I didn't really get this thing until -- wow -- last night.
In fact, I'd kind of wondered at the sanity of this enterprise the more I heard about it. For these kids, life seems to be "eat, sleep, show choir". They practice all the time. I've heard often about their six-hour long choreography rehearsals. They pay mucho bucks for the privilege of participating in the program, with costume costs on top of that. They travel around for competitions all over the place. I mean, this is like a full-time job. I've been grateful more that once that my eldest didn't decide to try out, just because of the time involved. One would have to be a little crazy to subject their child to that, I thought.
Until last night. Wow. The Headliners, people! Their singing was solid and full-sounding -- the music selections were hip and interesting -- the choreography was fantastic -- and the execution was clean and sharp. It was really an awesome thing to watch. It still may be crazy to subject one's child to such a high-pressure schedule, but I have to admit . . . it will be a cool thing for those kids to be able to say one day, "Yep, I was in one of the top show choirs in the country. We rocked." It would be worth the headaches and hassle for a year or two of that experience.
But I'm still not pushing my girls to audition. We can just enjoy the preview nights once a year. And say, "Wow".