OTTUMWA— The audience at Sweets & Sounds got a sneak peek at Sudden Impact’s 2017 competition show Monday night.
Forty-nine high school students spent 18 minutes singing and dancing on stage. While the annual performance is a fundraiser for district show choirs and jazz bands, it provided an opportunity for a live dress rehearsal before Sudden Impact’s first competition on February 11.
OHS junior, Jennifer Culver, is in her second year of show choir. She transferred to OHS as a freshman and is involved in band, vocal, and drama. She loves being involved in show choir. “I love the energy and how we all have to work hard together,” she said.
She was nervous about Monday’s performance. The girls had not practiced changing their costumes in heels. They had approximately 90 seconds to make the costume change while the boys performed their number.
Show choir competitions are 18 minute shows that include several songs. The girls sing one song, the boys another, and then they combine for the remaining songs. Students must perform one ballad to allow judges to score the vocals. Each group must do a costume change of some type. No recorded music is allowed so a student back-up band performs all music.
“Mr. and Mrs. Vasconez push us to be better,” Culver said. “You can tell they care.”
The theme this year is “move.” All five songs have something to do with movement, including “Move” by Mercy Me, “Move” by Saint Motel, “Bother” by Need to Breathe, “Move (Keep Walking) by Toby Mac, and “Keep Movin/Rock Steady” by Ole Borud. Culver’s favorite song is the second movement. “Saint Motel reminds me of stuff my dad listens to . . . groovy,” she said. She became interested in the group through show choir and has plans to see them live in concert when they open for Panic! At The Disco at Wells Fargo Arena this spring.
This is the group’s 15th season, with more boys than girls this year. Students start rehearsing in the fall, learning the music and choreography. “It’s important everyone wants to be there and get better,” she said. Students rehearse Wednesdays after school and Thursdays before school. Some sessions were longer. Last Saturday was their dress rehearsal.
The challenge is to maintain good sound quality while singing and dancing. “It’s about getting our voices out there, making sure we sound good,” Culver said. “You have to find air from places you never knew.”
She feels confidence is key. “You have to know you can do it, get through it, and do well.”
And remember to smile!
Competitions this season include:
Keokuk Show Choir Invitational
Saturday, February 11
Indianola Show Choir invitational
Saturday, February 18
Southeast Polk Show Choir Invitational
Saturday, February 25
Cedar Rapids Jefferson Show Choir Invitational
Saturday, March 4