Local Glee Clubs and Show Choirs Prepare for Competitions

By BROOKE WELCH | bwelch@wfft.com

Published 02/26 2014 01:53PM

Updated 02/26 2014 02:05PM

We have our own glee clubs and show choirs that have been very successful in Fort Wayne.  Some high schools have even been featured in national publications like Parade Magazine and more than 1 has been ranked in the top 20 nationally.

Most people probably don't know this but Bishop Luers High school has the longest running show choir invitational, not just in Indiana, but for the entire country.

"I know you're here talking about Glee, but it all began at Bishop Luers High School.

That's Karlene Krouse, the Show Choir Director at Bishop Luers since 1998.  The school held the first competition almost 40 years ago in 1975.

"At that day, we were called swing choirs, prior to that we were folk singers.  It has evolved into what we now call show choir and it started here in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  That's pretty amazing."

Show Choir, a combination of vocals, dance, instruments, and performance and to achieve that takes lots of practice.

"It's a huge team effort, we can never miss a practice.  It's really grueling, but it always pays off in the end."

Carroll High School's Show Choir has been around for 36 years.  Director Jill Jeran says even with a strong tradition, shows like Glee can help spark even more interest.

"I think that show's like Glee have kind of raised that awareness that we're out there.  So it's been exciting to see more kids be interested in show choir and just performing in general."

While their program is successful, show choir isn't just about winning competitions.  Conner Mullett says it has helped him to be more confident.

"I didn't have a lot of friends and once I joined, it was crazy because I've had so many more friends.  It's been like awesome."

A decision that's been good for Conner, as he has one of the main solos in this year's performance.

Both schools practice all year long, and say that while winning is great, the relationships and life skills they walk away with are invaluable.

"Get together and know each other.  Since it's a huge team effort, you rely on everyone around you.  You need to make sure that you know them, and can trust them."

"Definitely friendships.  I'm more confident when I'm talking to people and I feel like I can be myself more."

Show choir competitions are very competitive in our area.  In the past year, DeKalb, Carroll, Bishop Luers, Homestead, Norwell, Bishop Dwenger, and Huntington North have all been ranked in the top 100 nationally.

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