LINCOLN – Plattsmouth show choir students swayed to the movements of successful beats Saturday during a major competition at Lincoln Northeast.
Members of Plattsmouth High School’s Sapphire & Ice Show Choir squared off with 13 other groups at Lincoln Northeast’s “The Rock” show choir contest. PHS teenagers competed against students from Beatrice, Wahoo, Aurora, Omaha Marian, Blair, Norfolk, York, Central City and Atchison, Kan., during the morning and afternoon. Beatrice, Blair, Aurora and Wahoo each had two show choirs at the event.
Sapphire & Ice Director Chris Work said he was pleased with the results from the day. PHS students finished in seventh place with their musical presentation. They came close to qualifying for the evening’s finals for the first time in program history.
“The kids said it was one of their best performances,” Work said. “I will say that I am immensely proud of this group and their performance on Saturday. We were 0.5 points away from making it into the finals round. Plattsmouth has never had a group come close to that ever!
“These performers are showing the Omaha/Lincoln area that we are a school to no longer be taken lightly at competitions, and I find that extremely exciting.”
Aurora High School’s Rhapsody group finished in first place and collected multiple awards. Judges honored Aurora students with the Best Vocals, Best Choreography and Best Crew awards and Bryan Willey received the Best Male Soloist Award.
Atchison placed second and Blair’s Ovation group finished in third place. Show choirs from Beatrice, Norfolk and York claimed the next three spots in the final standings.
Plattsmouth appeared second on the afternoon’s schedule for three judges in Lincoln Northeast’s auditorium. Sapphire & Ice members delivered a 20-minute performance that featured a variety of songs and dances. Multiple students sang solos and the choreography included flips, tosses and synchronized movements.
Work directed the show choir this season and Kyle Aiden oversaw the choreography. Work also led the show choir’s band throughout Saturday afternoon’s performance. Band members played live music for the students on stage to sing and dance to.
Sapphire & Ice members first learned details about the 2019-20 production during a five-day show choir camp in the summer. Students spent two Saturdays in August going through initial rehearsals, and they practiced from 7-9 p.m. each Tuesday of the school year. They also had a 45-minute class every other school day.
“A lot of time and energy goes into creating something like this, and many of our performers spend time outside of rehearsal practicing as well, using our audio practice tracks, video choreography recordings or with each other,” Work said. “You’d be surprised how hard singing and dancing well really is! These kids do it really well.”
Plattsmouth students placed third in the Mixed Division-Tier II competition at the University of Nebraska-Omaha Show Choir Festival in early February. The group competed against Omaha Skutt, Aurora, Waverly, Seward, Beatrice and Platteview at the UNO event.
Sapphire & Ice members reached a major milestone for the program Feb. 17. The Blue Devils earned a Gold Award at the Nebraska Choral Directors Association Show Choir Festival. This is the top award a show choir can receive at a NCDA festival.
Work said Sapphire & Ice’s success stemmed in large part from the leadership and talent of the senior class. Brendan Simoens, Dakotah Swingholm-Bell, Gracey Simms, Kayla Harvey, Kira Leget, Sarah Johnson, Sarah Schreiber, Savannah Davis and Wesley Phillipson were seniors in the show choir. Classmates Taylor Sunderman and Ryan Kiroff performed with the show choir band throughout the year.
“I honestly feel like this senior class really stepped up this year,” Work said. “They helped create practice tracks, helped others with the choreography, helped with our women’s show choir, helped fund-raise for our show choir risers and encouraged one another that our long rehearsal period would be worth the outcomes.
“I will severely miss this group of seniors, as they have done so much for not only our show choir program, but our school’s curricular choirs, PHS band, Plattsmouth Community Schools and the Plattsmouth community. These are some of the best that PHS has to offer and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for them.”
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