BY CAROL ROEHM
The performances of Danville High School’s Contemporaries and Delegation earned both show choir groups a top 10 rating in the nation.
DHS’ all-female group, Contemporaires, placed seventh in the women’s division, while mixed show choir, Delegation, finished eighth overall last weekend at the National Show Choir Finals held at Arie Crown Theater in Chicago.
In March, the Contemporaires and Delegation both earned first runner-up placements during the FAME competition in Hollywood, giving them a chance to compete against the best show choirs in the nation during the Chicago competition.
The groups are directed by Kassandra Krause.
The top groups from all of the qualifying regional FAME events — including Hollywood, Orlando, New York, Chicago and Branson, Mo. — received a bid to compete at the national competition.
The DHS show choirs competed against 30 groups from California, New York, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Massachusetts and Arizona.
“Numerous states were represented,” said DHS Principal Mark Neil, who accompanied the DHS show choirs to Chicago on Friday and Saturday.
“I was really proud of our show choirs. Their performance was exceptional,” he said. “I couldn’t have been prouder of them.
“The competition was so intense. The show choirs were from all across the country.”
Neil said the DHS show choirs followed a rigorous schedule during the whirlwind two days in Chicago.
“The students had to get up at 5:30 a.m. twice in a row,” he said. “The first day was a run-through (of their performance) where judges critiqued them.”
After the first practice run with the Contemporaries, Danville students had a few hours to spend at Navy Pier before returning to McCormick Place for the Delegation’s practice run in front of the judges.
The big competition was on Saturday at the 5,000-seat Arie Crown Theater. Neil said the venue was sold out.
DHS junior Christian Cunningham performed a solo as the closer for the DHS performance.