State Runners Up
First-runners up at finals
DeKalb High School’s Sound Sensation girls choir and Classic Connection mixed choir take second place
PLAINFIELD — DeKalb High School show choir members ranked Saturday’s performances at the state finals as their best of the year.
As the judges saw it, they just weren’t quite as good as Northridge.
DeKalb High School’s Classic Connection mixed choir and Sound Sensation girls choir both finished as first runners-up Saturday in their divisions of the Class B state finals at Plainfield High School near Indianapolis.
In the women’s division during the morning and afternoon, DeKalb ranked less than one point behind Northridge, with host Plainfield taking third out of nine competing choirs. DeKalb won the category award for best visual effect, while Northridge won the award for best vocals.
Ditto in the mixed choir divison Saturday night: Plainfield first with best vocals, DeKalb second with best visual effect, this time 2.3 points back, and Plainfield third.
“It was an amazing show — probably the strongest show we’ve done all year,” DeKalb co-director Kent Johnson said about Classic Connection’s performance. A few hours earlier, he used almost exactly the same words to describe Sound Sensation’s effort.
Johnson said Classic Connection overcame a major distraction when a member of the choir became ill just as the show was ready to begin.
Still, “We performed a great show. We left it all out on the stage, and we represented everything we stand for,” said senior choir member Grant Lockwood.
“It was one of our best performances all year,” said Chandler Likes.
“I’ve never been more proud of my family,” senior Anna Muckenfuss said about her fellow choir members, adding, “and I don’t want to leave them at the end of the year.”
“We performed for all the right reasons,” said Chris Mock. “There’s no other show choir that I would rather be a part of.”
Earlier in the day, Sound Sensation members spoke proudly of their runner-up showing.
“All I have to say is: We rocked!” said Brittany Pogue. “I feel like today we were completely awesome — and we had a great season.”
Sound Sensation won the women’s division at five show choir contests this winter.
“Overall, I’m really proud of Sound Sensation,” said Elizabeth Bolinger. “We’ve been blessed with an amazing year and an amazing show.”
“This season has probably been my favorite” of four years in the group, said Megan Buss. “Sometimes, we can’t really control the outcome. I’m pleased with where we’re at.”
“This year has probably been the closest as a family” for the group, said Julianne Boyd. “Our show probably was the best one we’ve ever had.”
Sound Sensation repeated its second-place finish of 2013. The choir has won the women’s state title three times in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Classic Connection had won the state crown in four of the past five years, finishing second in 2012. This season, Classic Connection took home the overall grand champion trophy from three contests.
Classic Connection’s show began with a medley of “Save the World” by Pentatonics and “Speed of Light” by Avalon, with a solo by Anna Muckenfuss. It continued with “Raise You Up” from the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots,” featuring solos by Julianne Boyd and Matt Irwin. Another medley mixed “There’s a World” and “The Power of One.“ A ballad, Broadway tune “Change the World,” had a solo by Megan Buss. Bruce Bell sang a solo in “One World,” and the show closed with “Around the World,” including a solo by Brandon Park
Sound Sensation started its show with a magical theme. The opening mixed Broadway tunes “Magic” from “Xanadu” and “Magic to Do” from “Pippin,” with a solo by Muckenfuss. The theme continued with a medley of “I Put a Spell On You,” “Love Potion No. 9” and “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, featuring soloist Boyd.
The show’s ballad was a medley of “With You” from “Pippin” and “Gifts of Love” from “The Baker’s Wife,” spotlighting soloist Brittany Pogue. Next came “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” by a quintet of senior girls —Buss, Boyd, Pogue, Muckenfuss and Adele Poudrier, plus a saxophone solo by Austin King.
“Heartbreak Hotel” from the Elvis Presley tribute musical “All Shook Up” had a solo by Buss. The show concluded with Broadway tune “Give It Up” featuring a duet by Poudrier and Pogue.
The Indiana State School Music Association state finals contest often ends the show choirs’ competition season, but not this year. DeKalb’s groups will travel during spring break, April 3-8, to perform in a large contest at Waltham, Mass. From there, the choirs will visit New York to see two Broadway shows and tour the city, including the 9/11 memorial and Empire State Building.