On Saturday, January 14, Muscatine High School show choirs hosted their 9th annual River City Showcase show choir competition at Central Middle School. This fundraiser includes the help of every show choir member, parents, and other volunteers. It usually takes over 100 volunteers to make this event happen.

This year, 11 choirs from out of town competed along with Muscatine’s prep and varsity show choirs doing an exhibition performance. Each group performs once for the judges, and after each group performance they hold daytime awards, placing each group in a ranking. The top six groups of the night are selected to perform again for finals. After each one of these groups performs, they are placed again from 6th place to grand champions of the competition. They also hold a solo competition during the day in which individuals can perform a solo and the top three performers get to perform before finals.

This competition is a fantastic fundraiser for the show choir program. Without it, MHS would not be able to have a competitive show choir program. The money pays for music choreographers, bussing, and the other many expenses that come with a show choir.

“The most fun thing is for directors and other students to see other students from around the country as competitors and oftentimes before friends,” says Jonathan Ryan, head choir and show choir director.

This year during the competition, the choirs honored one of their former members who passed away earlier this year, Michaela Brunson. Michaela was a member of River City Rhythm and was a member of concert choir. Someone at the event purchased a “shout out” for Michaela to be announced before River City Rhythm performed. Before the shout out was announced, emcee Ian Steenhoek gave a speech. “We all face our own problems every day that no one else knows about, but whoever you are, and whatever you are struggling with, know that people are out there who care about you,” he said.

“I was really shaky after reading that,” said Ian. It was a powerful and emotional moment for everyone involved in the loss of their dear teammate.

There was also an exhibition performance while the judges were tallying the final scores of the evening. The song was performed by four of Micaela’s close friends: Callie Kurriger, Emily Soria, Trey Broderson, and Ben Rice. They wrote a song in Michaela’s honor and performed it. Ben arranged and played the piece, and the other three sang. The audience got involved by turning on flashlights on their phones and swaying to the song.

“Words can’t describe the feeling,” said junior Callie Kurriger. “It was so uplifting being able to sing to her and all who loved her. It’s so beautiful seeing the lives she continues to touch.”

The show choirs would like to thank everyone who supported the 9th annual River City Showcase. Stay updated on the Muscatine show choirs as they begin their competitive season by consulting the Voice of Muscatine for show choir events and results.