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Hart show choir named grand champions

Sound Vibrations resonates with judges.

Posted: March 19, 2008 1:14 a.m.
Updated: May 20, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Hart's Sound Vibrations takes good vibrations to the Midwest, and comes home with the Grand Championship in a competition.

 
Rebekah Park is a senior at Hart High School and co-president of the Hart Show Choir.

During the weekend of Feb. 22-23, Hart High School's advanced mixed division show choir group, Sound Vibrations, traveled to Illinois to participate in a Midwest show choir competition. After 11 hours of traveling by both plane and bus, Sound Vibrations stepped into the town of Sullivan: Population, 4400.

Sullivan captured the all-American small town essence, as Sound Vibes was greeted in the cafeteria of the local high school by the families of Sullivan High. Hart's students left the cafeteria that night with their host families, who would open their homes and their hearts to Hart's students over the next weekend, giving Hart students a chance to experience a small town lifestyle for a weekend.

Thanks to the families of Sullivan, Sound Vibes indulged in the charms of the town, the fresh snow that had fallen, the home-style cooking of the Midwest, as well as the genuine kindness of the people of Sullivan.

"The family we stayed with was extremely hospitable, and it definitely made me feel comfortable the entire time I was on the trip," said senior Waseem Salahi. "I had a great time competing, and it's definitely an experience I will remember for the rest of my life."

The day of the competition, Sound Vibrations was challenged to represent an edgier, West Coast style of show choir in the midst of a more traditional, though nonetheless respectable, Midwestern choir style.

Given an opportunity to mingle with the other choirs with whom they competed in their division, Sound Vibes eagerly met students from other schools and also bonded with their hosts from Sullivan.

The entire town of Sullivan opened its arms to Hart Choir, greeting them warmly and encouraging them to do well in the competition.

Competing with Hart's Sound Vibes were some of the most established show choirs in the nation - the greatest competitor being Clinton High School's group, "Attaché," which had been undefeated for 14 years, tying only once for grand champions seven years ago.

At the end of the semi-finals, Sound Vibes was ranked in second place, a few points ahead of Clinton's Attaché in the musicality division.

Qualifying for finals along with five other groups, Sound Vibes rose to the challenge, summoning every ounce of energy, every bit of enthusiasm and passion for performing, and every desire to win.

When the winners were announced, Hart High School's Sound Vibrations were named as Grand Champions of Sullivan, Ill., ending the 14-year winning streak of the dignified Clinton Attaché.

"Winning Grand Champions was one of the most uplifting feelings I've ever experienced. It was unparalleled to anything I've ever felt - amazing," said senior Jared Gilbert, dance co-captain of Sound Vibrations.

Not only did Sound Vibrations prove its talent on a national level, they also gained a greater insight into the diversity of America, getting a taste of the small-town life which seems only possible in idealized movies.

"This trip was an incredible experience. Winning was a huge surprise and therefore an even greater success for us," said junior Hillary Cusick. "However, the entire experience of the trip was enhanced by the kindness we encountered with the families who hosted us."

Establishing ourselves as a Grand Champion choir for me, personally, is a pinnacle in all four years of my show choir experience. The hours of rehearsal, the dedication and the constant revision of our show were truly rewarding.

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