digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















The Totino-Grace "Company of Singers" perform their opening number, "Promise", at the Linn-Mar Supernova, from Fridley, Minnesota, USA

A Show Choirs (originally known as a "swing choir") is a group of people who combine choral singing with dance, sometimes within the context of a specific idea or story.


Show choir is primarily a high school activity based in the United States, concentrated in the Midwest, but also beginning to become popular in Canada as well. It is a continually evolving art form, and show choir is regularly expanding to new areas. Many middle schools, junior high schools, and some colleges now have their own show choirs as well.

Technical aspect[edit]

While there is no standard requirement for the number of performers, show choirs typically contain between 30 and 60 singer/dancers.

Show choirs traditionally wear a costume, though the definition of what is considered a costume in show choir is very broad and ranges from jeans and a t-shirt to extravagant period costumes or flashy dance-wear. It can be very conservative (such as tuxedos and ball gowns) or very edgy (such as modern or revealing clothing). Additionally, many larger show choirs include two or more costumes in their show. Participants typically wear stage makeup and shoes conducive to dancing (often "character shoes"). From the costumes to the stage makeup, show choir members often look uniform during most shows.

Shepherd Hill Regional High School's Show Choir "Fantasy" performing with Grecian costumes in 2014

The choir usually has a backup band (or "combo," if it includes horns) providing instrumental music to complement the voices. The instrumentation varies from song to song, but a common show choir band consists of guitar, bass, drums, trumpets, trombone, alto sax, tenor sax, piano, and synthesizer. Many larger show choirs typically have a larger combo to accompany them. The band is usually out of sight, however some band members have come out on stage to be featured during the show.


This is an example of a show choir competition program from Totino-Grace's Spectacular competition.

Many show choirs participate in competitions, sometimes called "invitationals" (though most are not invitation-only events). These competitions are often held at the high school where the "host group" attends, though some events are held at auditoriums or other facilities that can accommodate larger crowds and provide better acoustic performance.

Competitions can be as small as a showcase of a few groups from the immediate geographic area or they can feature many groups from multiple states. Because of the vast difference in sizes of the competitions, they can last a single afternoon or span an entire weekend. Competitions may separate competing choirs into different divisions. These divisions are often determined by age, skill level, size of the school or choir, and/or gender of the participants. The different divisions may take place at a different time, day, or at a different location or venue, though usually within the same school or close geographic area.

Many competitions include a preliminary round and a finals found. The finals round commences after the preliminary awards are complete, where the top groups perform again in order to compete for the title of Grand Champion of the contest. The number of performing groups in the finals round is up to the hosting school, but typically 5-6 choirs participate. Those groups are sometimes given the opportunity to take suggestions from the judges made during the preliminary round and make adjustments to their finals performance in order to earn a better score.

Characteristics of a performance[edit]

Most show choir "shows" or "sets" consist of a variety of songs, often including several choreographed, fast-paced pieces and one slower piece performed with limited or no choreography. This slower number—usually a ballad—exists primarily to showcase the ensemble's singing ability. In California, it is a requirement that at least one minute of any one set be sung a cappella (it is usually one full song in the set), though this is not a standard in the rest of the country. More often than not, the a cappella selection is also the ballad, as it is much easier to sing unaccompanied while holding relatively still. In the Midwest, it is becoming popular to set one song aside as a "novelty" piece, designed to make the audience laugh. "Concept" or "story" shows that unify all of the songs together in a common theme are becoming more popular across the country, especially in California.

Within a song, vocal lines typically alternate between unison or octave singing, and two-or-more-part polyphonic harmony. Songs are chosen, adapted, and arranged from a variety of sources including popular music, jazz standards, and Broadway musicals, but rarely make use of classical music. Original music has also been performed by a small number of groups. Additionally, there is often at least one solo in each performance by a standout singer in the group.

Competitive performance sets range in length, but are usually timed to total between fifteen and twenty minutes. Shows generally consist of, but are not limited to, approximately five songs.


For many high school students, show choir is a large commitment that takes over the good part of a school year. For some, show choir is part of the school curriculum and is a class taught during the day. For others, it is an extra curricular activity that requires practice to take place before or after school. Practices may begin as early as the summer for some, while other choirs don’t start until much later. The competitive season takes place from January until late April, with competitions held across the country every weekend during that time.


Show choir, while time consuming, can be rich with rewards. Being a part of a show choir promotes teamwork and healthy competition. The choir must work together in order to compete against other choirs with similar skill sets. Show choir also promotes staying active and fit, as vigorous dancing and singing simultaneously requires energy and coordination as well as a maintaining a healthy body.

See also[edit]

A fine resource for current Show Choir events

The official website for FAME Show Choir events

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show_choir — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

IL-ACDA Honor Show Choir 2014

IL-ACDA Honor Show Choir performing at the IL-ACDA Fall Convention at North Central College in Naperville, IL. The group was made up of 48 singers from 11 di...

Clinton Attaché - Show Choir Nationals 2012

Host choir performance at Show Choir Nationals 2012.

Los Al Show Choir's Holiday Medley '14

Show Choir in a Van

We are the Millard West Show Choir from Omaha, NE and this is our van ride to FAME in Branson, MO. It took us 8 hours of intense rehearsals to glue this show...

Show Choir Camp of America 35th Anniversary Final Concert Tiffin, OH

Show Choir Behind The Scenes: The Faces, Costumes & Competition

http://sepapparel.com/show-choir Check out the behind the scenes video of show choirs in action...show choir costumes, dresses, outfits everywhere. It's like...

Buffalo Grove (IL) HS "The Expressions" Show Choir 2014

Directed by Deborah Utley Choreographed by Randy Sage Video by Rutherford Photo Video.

Burbank (CA) HS "In Sync" Show Choir 2014

Directed by Brett Carroll Choreographed by Damon Brown, April James, and Randy Sage Arranged by Josh Greene Video by Rutherford Photo Video Daytime Performance.

Clinton Attache 2014 @ Show Choir Nationals

Clinton High School - Attache Show Choir @ Show Choir Nationals 2014, Nashville, TN. Directors: David and Mary Fehr Pit Director: Robert Allen Crew Director:...

2010 Show Choir "Grease!" Medley

This is my school's Show Choir doing a medley of songs from the movie "Grease".

1000000 videos foundNext > 

16920 news items

Tri-County News

Tri-County News
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 08:07:30 -0800

In presenting the list of new courses for next school year, Curriculum and Instruction Director Ty Maki and High School Principal Rodney Figueroa said choir numbers have been increasing to the point where Show Choir can be brought back as a class and ...

The Review

The Review
Sat, 13 Dec 2014 22:45:00 -0800

The WHS Chamber Choir and Ebony and Ivory Show Choir will present their annual holiday concert at 7 p.m., Dec. 17, at Riverside Presbyterian Church. The following evening, the junior high chorus and chorale will present their own concert at the same ...
Twin Falls Times-News
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 00:44:28 -0800

TWIN FALLS • Canyon Ridge High School's show choir “SYNERGY!” presents “Zat you, Santa Claus?” at 7 tonight and 2 p.m. Saturday in the school auditorium. Seats are $6 for adults and $4 for children, students and seniors. This is a fundraiser to support ...

Hillsboro Times Gazette

Hillsboro Times Gazette
Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:41:15 -0800

The McClain Show Choir dazzled with several choreographed festive tunes at Thursday's meeting of the Greenfield Rotary Club. Members of the performing group of students are pictured during one of their numbers. The group is led by choral director ...

Gant Daily

Gant Daily
Mon, 15 Dec 2014 02:07:30 -0800

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield Area Junior-Senior High School Show Choir performed under the direction of Andrew Rothrock in partnership with the Clearfield Revitalization Corp. (CRC) to begin its holiday shop local events, such as Small Business ...

The Crimson While

The Crimson While
Tue, 18 Nov 2014 18:26:15 -0800

It is Dover's first year directing the show choir, and he said the hardest part of directing is leading a group of peers. The show will feature a variety of music, from Broadway to classic rock and even music from “A Goofy Movie.” Although Dover held ...


Thu, 04 Dec 2014 06:20:01 -0800

“There are so many aspects of the show that are different this year,” says Briana Mabry, a senior who's been in show choir since her freshman year. One of the things the Carolina Forest resident is most excited about bringing back the nativity scene ...

JSU News

JSU News
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 08:30:00 -0800

On Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. the Jacksonville State University Show Choir Encore! will present its Fall Concert in the Mason Hall performance center on the JSU campus. The Oxford High School Show Choir under the direction of Mrs. Holly ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight