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Nation’s longest-running event in its 33rd year


Show choir season is upon us once again, and nowhere does the tradition of these exciting competitions run deeper than at Fort Wayne’s Bishop Luers High School. On March 3rd, Bishop Luers will host the country’s longest-running show choir competition. This year marks the 33rd year for the Invitational, and both the BLHS show choir, dubbed the Minstrels, and the recently formed women’s choirs have been hard at work in preparation for the big event.

The Minstrels, directed by Karlene Krouse and comprised of 40 singer/dancers, 9 band members, and 10 tech crew members, pack a wallop in the talent department and place very competitively in invitationals across the Midwest. Thus far, the Minstrels have competed at Marysville and Findlay, Ohio, and locally at Northrop and Norwell High Schools. They will also compete at Anderson, Indiana, and Watseka, Illinois. For the Minstrels, competition is the end result of many long months of hard work. Show choir is a four-credit class at Bishop Luers, but all rehearsals are scheduled after school hours and on weekends. The Minstrels work tirelessly throughout the year, giving over 30 hours each week in November and December to perfect their routines for the rigorous competition season. Even with the demanding practice schedule, show choir members are traditionally leaders in their class, both academically and in all types of student activities.

As any show choir member will tell you, the hard work is just something that comes with the territory in this truly enriching activity. Their success lies in the fact that the choir members and their families are dedicated completely to the program. “Unlike many sports, show choir has a year-long practice season,” says freshman Minstrel Nick Abbott. “But for those of us who love to perform, the rewards are worth the effort. I’m really proud to be a member of this choir.”

Second only to the exciting feeling that accompanies showcasing one’s talents onstage is the pride that Bishop Luers has for their own Invitational. According to Krouse, “This competition was originally developed by Father Fred Link as an educational opportunity for students at Bishop Luers High School and across the country. As the director, I feel that the most important aspect of the day is just that…to educate our young men and women to communicate, lead, and realize their God-given talents.”

This year’s competition will feature 17 of the finest mixed and women’s show choirs in the Midwest competing, as the name suggests, by invitation only. Combining dynamic vocal talents with high-energy dance choreography, dazzling sets and beautiful costumes, these talented teens perform live before a packed house, competing for the coveted “Top 6” spots reserved for the evening sing-off. All-day wristband tickets for this family-friendly event are $10 and are available at the door or by calling 456-1261.

The Waynedale News Staff
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