A show choir combines choral singing with choreographed dance moves, often within the context of a specific idea or story. Since the early 1970's this predominately high school activity has been widely popular in the Midwest. Since then the concept has grown in popularity and spread geographically.
In 2011, St. Francis High School brought Show Choir to their doors. Our Show Choir now consists of over 50 singer/dancers, all with competitive advanced understanding of music skills, vocal tones, and dance techniques. Many have theater and stage performance experience as dramatic expressions and movements are a part of every performance. Musical numbers are choreographed to live music, collectively singing and dancing in a show that lasts about 20 minutes. Strong command of breathing techniques is essential to an excellent vocal performance.
The full Show Choir consists of the choir, about ten band members, and six crew members. As an extra-curricular activity that begins in September, students rehearse multiple times per week. Competition season begins in January with several weekend competitions on Saturdays through late March.
The band provides instrumental music to complement the vocals and support choreographed dancing. A common show choir band is comprised of fellow high school band members, featuring guitar, bass, drums, trumpets, trombone, alto sax, tenor sax, and piano.
The crew is necessary for all competitive show choir programs. Students assist with lighting, sound, costumes, props and stage setup.
Show choirs are judged as a whole, leveraging strengths of the full choir to compete well. Promoting teamwork and healthy competition are just a few of the benefits taught through music and repetitive movement. As a team, Show Choir is demanding; however, the rewards are both immediate and long term. Teamwork allows members to grow together and support each other. Show choir also promotes skill development, creative expression, and maintaining a healthy body. Vigorous dancing and singing simultaneously require energy and coordination. All of these benefits are cultivated through leadership and peer role modeling.
The Show Choir's performance costumes can be as traditional as a tuxedo and ball gown or as casual as a simple jeans and t-shirt. Many competitive show choirs include two or more costume changes in their program. Members wear stage makeup and footwear conducive to dancing. Girls transform their locks into ‘show choir hair' while boys adjust their ties and shine their shoes. With stage make-up in place, family seated in the first three rows, the signal is given, and the competition begins.