4 Ways YOU can make the most of Music in Our Schools Month

Music in our schools is something to be celebrated every day, but March is a special month for music education in our country because it is officially Music in Our Schools Month! Or #MIOSM as you may be seeing on social media. As people involved in the world of music education, we have a special opportunity to show why music is such an important part of our lives. It is more than what we do; it is a part of who we are, and our love of music continues to grow and challenge us in new ways every day. We’re halfway through March, but there is still time to let the world know why music education is important in your life. So this week, we’re offering you 4 ways YOU can make the most of #MIOSM!

  1. Tell your story.

How has music affected your life? What made you decide to pursue a career in music education? What keeps you going when teaching music gets tough? Take some time to reflect on how and why you got to where you, and share it with your students. They may not always want to listen to corrections or sit up straight in their chairs, but if you can help them understand how their music education classes can impact their future, they may be more inclined to listen. Your story is important. Music in our schools is important. So tell your students how those ideas are connected!

  1. Donate to a music education foundation like Give-A-Note.

For those who want to keep music in our schools, donating to Give-A-Note is a great way to show your support. Give-A-Note uses donations to provide grants for schools who need money to keep music programs in their schools. Since its founding in 2011, this organization has donated more than 1.2 million dollars to support music education. Be a part of keeping music in schools that don’t have the money to do it themselves. Every child deserves access to music, and donating to Give-A-Note is a fantastic way to assure that this happens.

  1. Share what you’re doing on social media.

The best way to show others what music means to you is to SHARE it! Get your students involved in this. Let’s be honest… they probably are more connected to social media than most teachers. If you have a fundraiser, promote it on every social media site you can. If you have a concert coming up, share rehearsal clips, pictures from costume fittings, and other behind-the-scenes goodies. There are a lot of people who love music performances, but they don’t ever get to see what goes on before the curtain goes up. Share it with them! Let everyone be a part of the performance experience.

  1. Celebrate!

If you’ve dedicated your life to music and music education, there is obviously something about music that has stuck with you during your life. Celebrate it! Take time to notice the little ways that music brightens your day. Whether it’s seeing a light bulb go off for a struggling student or one of your favorite songs playing on your drive home, be grateful that you have an opportunity to be involved in something that changes lives.

Test scores have proved it. Students’ grades have reflected it. The world is a better place because of it. Music in our schools holds more importance than can possibly be expressed. How are you going to make the most of #MIOSM?

Brighter and Bolder: Rivar’s Makeup Tutorial

Rivar’s Makeup Tutorial

Are you looking for a way to look brighter and bolder under stage lights? We’re here to help. Welcome to our very first Rivar’s makeup tutorial! My name is Jessamyn, and I’m a customer service associate and show choir alum. After many years of competitions, concerts, and other performance opportunities, I’ve learned a lot about what (and what not to do!) with your stage makeup. So I’m here to share some tips and tricks for looking your best on a show choir stage.

In an effort to make your life as easy as possible, I’ve written down the steps from the video in addition to some extra tips for makeup application. As in the video, I’ve broken down this list into three major sections: face, eyes, and lips.


  • Foundation
    • Choose the foundation formula that’s right for you!
    • You can use a brush, a sponge, or your fingers for application. Again, it depends on your skin type and the formula you choose.
    • TIP: Apply the foundation in the direction of the hairs on your face for the smoothest appearance.
  • Concealer
    • The shade of concealer should match your skin exactly or be one shade lighter. If it’s darker, it will draw attention to those spots on your face instead of covering them up.
  • Contour
    • Remember the places you need to contour: under your cheekbones, the “corners” of your hairline/forhead, the sides of your nose, and your jawline.
    • TIP: When contouring your nose, don’t put the makeup beyond the sides of your nose. This will broaden instead of narrow your  nose.
  • Blush
    • Remember… if you think have enough on, put on some more. Blush really warms up your face under lights and prevents you from looking washed-out.
    • TIP: The placement of your blush (and highlight and contour for that matter) depends on your face shape. Check out this picture for some tips on application based on your face shape.
  • Highlight
    • TIP: Use highlight with a little shimmer on your cheekbones if you want your skin to catch the light a little more.
  • Powder
    • Because you already have so much color on your face, I recommend a light translucent powder for this final step. You can reapply powder throughout the day to keep the shine away.


  • Eyebrows
    • Correction: In the video, I said that I recommend using an angled brush with eyeliner, but I meant to say an angled brush with eyeshadow. I apologize for the confusion!
  • Eyelid
    • Use a flat brush and a lighter neutral color like taupe, copper, or silver for your eyelid.
  • Crease
    • TIP: If you want to add a bold color to your look, this is the place to do it!
  • Highlight
    • Highlighting is the crucial blending step. Make sure to apply the highlight under your eyebrow and in the corner of your eye.
  • Eyelash Curler
    • Pump your eyelashes from base to tip to curl instead of crease.
  • Eyeliner (black and white)
    • I used Covergirl Perfect Point Plus in this video because it is easy to apply, and you don’t need to sharpen it. You can use any eyeliner formula you like: liquid, gel, pencil, or something else.
    • TIP: For bigger eyes (and less shadow on stage), do not connect your upper and lower eyeliner lines. You can even extend the upper and lower eyeliner slightly beyond your natural lashline to make your eyes pop even more.
    • Apply the white eyeliner along the waterline for an extra boost.
  • Mascara
    • You only need a thin coat! The purpose of this step is to prepare your real eyelashes to blend into your false ones.
  • False Eyelashes
    • Apply a very thin line of glue along the edge of the lashes, and wait a moment for the glue to get sticky before applying.
    • TIP: Longer and thinner lashes will make your eyes look bigger on stage. Shorter and thicker lashes will weigh down your eyes and shadow your face. You can even cut off the side of a false eyelash if it’s too long for your eyelid.
  • Pop of Color
    • Bring back your crease color to soften your under-eye eyeliner.


  • Lip balm
    • Apply a thin coat of a very smooth lip balm or chapstick to soften your lips before putting on lipstick.
  • Lip liner
    • Choose a color that matches your lipstick or is a neutral color.
    • You can fill in your lips entirely or line your lips (which is what I did in the video).
  • Lipstick
    • TIP: Choose the red that’s right for you! We all have different skin tones and undertones, and red lipstick is created from different color combinations. The same red is not going to look good on everyone, so look around for the right red for you.

Thank you for watching our Rivar’s makeup tutorial! I hope you learned something new (or learned a LOT of new things!) while watching our video. We had a lot of fun putting this together and sincerely hope it helps you look your best under stage lights. We wish you the best of luck this competition season!

For more on all things show choir, check out our blog!

Makeup artist and speaker: Jessamyn Anderson

Video and Photography: Evan Cain

Why is the Super Bowl halftime show such a big deal?

Why is the Super Bowl halftime show such a big deal?

The office this morning was buzzing with talk of the Super Bowl, but considering the fact that we work in the music industry (for all intents and purposes), most of our conversations focused on the halftime show. We discussed things like Bruno Mars’ strange suit (he really needed a Rivar’s blazer), Chris Martin’s poor singing posture, and Beyonce’s ability to do no wrong (in our humble opinion). As we talked about our favorite and least favorite moments from last night’s show, it got me thinking: what makes the halftime show so special that it encourages many people to tune in for halftime and disregard the rest of the game? In this week’s blog, we’re going to highlight a few key points regarding the evolution of the Super Bowl halftime show and give you our top 3 reasons why we think the halftime show has become one of the biggest live entertainment shows of the year.


1960s through 1980s: The NFL keeps it classic with marching bands and some very family-friendly pop culture influence.

Show choir fans might like:

  • (1984) Disney’s Salute to the Silver Screen: girls with big hair dance in red sequined costumes, Goofy tap dances, and Mickey comes out to lead an encore of “When You Wish Upon a Star.” What more do you need?
  • (1988) The Radio City Rockettes tap their way across the field, accompanied by 88 pianos. It gets a little funky with a strange song about twisting and shouting (but it’s not “Twist and Shout”…), but the class and elegance of the Rockettes will win over every show choir kid’s heart.

1990s – mid-2000s: The halftime show begins to draw more viewers than the game itself.

  • (1993) Michael Jackson performs at the Super Bowl, making him the first major pop artist to perform at the halftime show. His performance completely altered the future of the Super Bowl halftime show.
  • (Late 1990s – 2005) The Super Bowl captivated older audiences in this era with artists such as The Who, The Rolling Stones, Prince, and U2. There were a few shows thrown in there with people like Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, and Justin Timberlake, but the older rockers dominated this era.


2011-2016: Pop stars are the name of the game.

  • (2011) Black-Eyed Peas
  • (2012) Madonna with Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., LMFAO, CeeLo Green
  • (2013) Beyonce and Destiny’s Child
  • (2014) Bruno Mars
  • (2015) Katy Perry
  • (2016) Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Beyonce
  • Need we say more?

OUR TOP 3: Reasons (we think!) the Super Bowl halftime show has become the entertainment event of the year.

  1. Big names mean big numbers.

Michael Jackson wasn’t exactly a small name in the early 90s, so it’s no wonder that the 1993 halftime show drew so many viewers. After attracting a massive TV audience, the networks and the NFL caught on and continued to move forward with a trend of inviting major names to perform at the Super Bowl. Since then, every artist who performed at the game was a chart-topper, and the halftime show continues to draw more viewers than the rest of the game.

  1. People love spectacle.

From the Ziegfeld Follies to the Super Bowl halftime show, there has been no shortage of “spectacle” in American history. What can we say? We love our sparkle and spectacle. We are in the show choir business after all. But truly, people LOVE spectacle. There’s something magically captivating about fireworks, moving stages, and flashing lights, and the spectacle continues to grow with each halftime show. If the 2016 halftime show was as spectacular as it was, we’re excited to see what will happen at future Super Bowl games.

  1. No team affiliation allows for a moment of unity.

While the pop stars are fantastic and the stages are incredible, we think it’s the non-competitive aspect of the halftime show that draws so many people. The Super Bowl can bring out the worst in team rivalries and create tension among fans, but the halftime show erases all tension and rivalry for at least fifteen minutes and allows everyone to come together and enjoy a great show. The only two aspects of the Super Bowl that have this ability are both music-related: the National Anthem and the halftime show. Music brings people together in the best way possible, and the Super Bowl halftime show is the perfect example of this beautiful gift that music offers.

We all loved watching the halftime show last night and are grateful that music, in some capacity, is a part of one of the largest sporting events every year. What are your favorite Super Bowl halftime show moments from your lifetime? We’d love to know!

The Rivar’s Team: Our Favorite Show Choir Memories

THE RIVAR’S TEAM: Our Favorite Show Choir Memories

Have you ever wondered how a group of working adults could be so invested in a show choir apparel company? Why do these adults love show choir costumes so much? We do support music education and believe in the importance of the arts, but more than that, we have been there. Several Rivar’s employees have a show choir background and have a beautiful collection of memories from their time in show choir. This week, we’re going to look at some of the employees and their favorite show choir moments.

Tara Holcomb, Sales Director

Franklin Central High School, FC Singers

  • Getting to wear my first Rivar’s dress – I always loved seeing which color and style the FC Singers dresses were each year.  When I finally got to wear my own, I was thrilled!  I ran home and said, “Mom, my dress is going to be RED!” (my favorite color).  I loved how the skirt was so full, and what they looked like when we moved.  It was a huge achievement to be chosen to be in our show choir, and the day I got my dress was when I finally felt like a true FC Singer.
  • Out of state trips to national competitions – we competed at both Showstoppers and Fame my senior year of high school, and the trips out there were so fun.  We slept overnight on charter buses.  We got to run around Disney World for days.  We saw show choirs from the other side of the country that gave us deeper appreciation for how the arts can differ.  We had so much fun getting away and doing what we do best – perform!
  • Our last competition of the year was in Branson, MO for Fame.  I remember the curtain being closed and we were getting set up for our opener.  All of us had tears in our eyes and gave each other huge hugs as we prepared for our final show together as a team.  We were so cohesive, and proud of how far we had come.  During that performance, my cheeks literally hurt from smiling so much.  I wanted to leave every last piece of myself I could on that stage, because I knew it would be my last time performing that set.  It was sad, happy and moving all at once!

EVAN CAIN, Account Manager

Carmel High School, Ambassadors

I think my favorite memory from show choir was the last time our group sang together my junior year of high school.  The Ambassadors really  connected with and grew attached to a song called “I Am Not Yours”. On the last day of school all of us gathered on stage and held hands in a circle. It was our first time singing this acapella song without a directer, we had never sounded better.  I felt so connected to the group in that moment.  I have a video from that day that I reflect on a lot. It was such an amazing moment and I am so glad I got to experience it with my friends.


MEGAN DUNN, Customer Service

Brown County High School, Elegance and Mystique

I’ve been thinking and no specific memory stands out for me.  Basically I remember loving the community created by being in choir, the trips we took as a group (we went to Chicago and Six Flags Great America one year and it was a blast, even though one of our two charter buses broke down on the way back and we finished the ride home in just the one remaining bus), and spending all day at Edgewood Contest of Champions (the only competition we went to) performing, watching other groups, and just hanging out all day.

Megan - Mystique


Carmel High School, Ambassadors and Accents

  • I so clearly remember waking up for my first competition when I was a sophomore. Because I was in the women’s group, we had to be at the school at 4:30am to catch our bus to the competition. My alarm was set for 3:30 (which is usually an ungodly hour), but I was so excited that I popped out of bed at 3:00am and couldn’t fall back asleep. I had been watching my older sister compete for a few years, and it was finally my turn. I couldn’t wait.
  • Senior year was my favorite year in show choir, and it was because of the people. We really became a family, and we worked extremely hard together. Even though we were successful throughout the season in terms of awards, we had a tough season because of other things: our white dresses and white suits got mud all over them on the bus ride to our first competition; there was a lot of illness in the group (as in, we had trash bags tied to costume racks backstage so people wouldn’t throw up on costumes); and we ended up completely cutting our original competition closer after the first competition and re-worked the end of our set in one week. But because of all these challenges, we were that much more driven to win, and I will never forget winning our final competition of the season because it meant we had an undefeated season. I have never been more proud to be a part of a group than I was at that moment of victory.

As a team, we frequently reminisce about our days in show choir. Those years are filled with memories that will last a lifetime, and we are grateful for the opportunity to play a small role in creating show choir memories for others. We wish you the best of luck this competition season–always keep a song in your heart and some extra sparkle in your smile!

Beyond the Hairspray: What do I bring to a show choir competition?

BEYOND the HAIRSPRAY: What do I bring to a show choir competition?

You’re probably thinking, “Rivar’s is trying to tell me what to bring to a competition? I already know… bobby pins, my shoes, my costume, water… I’ve got everything packed.” You may have your duffel bag ready to go, but there are more impactful things than a can of hairspray that you need to bring to a competition. Many members of our Rivar’s team have participated in show choir competitions, and we would like to share some non-material things that are essential for any competition.


Your alarm is set for 3am. And that means it’s competition season. If you have to get up when it’s still the middle of the night, make sure to get to bed early and do what you need to do to insure a peaceful night’s sleep. Show choir competitions are physically and emotionally exhausting, and it will be easier to recover from the 24-hour event if you go into the event well-rested. Singing while exhausted can put your vocal cords at risk, and you are more likely to get sick if you over-sing on a tired voice. So get to bed, protect your voice, and rest your body so that you can be on the top of your game for your choir!


You’ve been working for months on this set. You know the choreography inside and out, and you could probably sing the ballad in your sleep. (Perhaps you have already because you’ve been dreaming about nothing but show choir for weeks…) So do as Maria does in The Sound of Music and have confidence in yourself and in your group. If it’s your first competition of the season, have confidence that you can put your best foot forward this weekend and continue to get better as the season goes on. You’ve worked too hard not to have faith in the amazing things your group can and will accomplish.

i have confidence


Show choir has exploded in the past decade, and choirs all over the country have taken this art form to innovative and inspirational places. Themed shows have made their way onto competition stages while other choirs own their traditional Broadway style. Whatever your preferred style is, open your mind to other schools’ ideas and choices. Instead of being instantly critical of something that is different than what you’re used to, take the time to think about the different kind of work and energy that group put into their set. If you’re used to edgier sets focusing on pop and rock music, you may have trouble seeing the challenges of a more classic, Broadway style. Open your mind. If you’re used to the golden age Broadway showstoppers, you may not understand the difficulties of putting together an edgy, rock music competition set. Open your mind. Try to appreciate different styles this competition season—you never know what might inspire you.


When you’re exhausted by the time finals roll around, there are two things that can pull you through that final number in your set: adrenaline (which you have no control over) and a fabulous show choir smile (which is all yours to give). Let your smile light up the stage as you have the amazing opportunity to share a performance experience with your classmates and the hundreds of people that have come to see you perform. While it may be easy to keep that smile ON the stage, remember to keep smiling that show choir smile OFF the stage. You never know who may need to see a sparkling smile that day.


Please and thank you are great things to say to all those helping at show choir competitions, but having good manners during competition season goes further than easy words. It’s tempting to talk poorly about other groups at the competition: you don’t like their costumes, their vocals need some work, or maybe they’re really good and you’re concerned about them winning that night. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to either keep those comments to yourself or wait until you’re solely with YOUR choir to talk about other groups. You never know who is around you at a competition. Judges also take lunch breaks in the cafeteria, and parents from all the choirs are floating around the school during the day. Consider the impact your words could have on someone before letting them fly in a very public place. Wouldn’t you rather be remembered for indispensable kindness rather than a disposable trophy?


“Keep it positive! Let out your inner freak! Keep it positive!” I think Elle Woods had it right in Legally Blonde: The Musical. Show choir competitions are a blast, but it can be tough to stay positive if you didn’t do as well as you had hoped on a personal level or a group level. Let that show choir smile light up your face and your mind, and remember to simply have fun. The most important thing to remember about having a positive attitude is that it majorly affects those around you, including people in your group and those in other choirs. If you win, win with positivity and keep it positivekindness. If you lose or didn’t place as high as you hoped, lose with positivity and good sportsmanship. Positivity makes the (show choir) world a better place, and you, as students and directors, can make sure that positivity is present at all times.

Show choir competition season is such an exciting time, and you will create memories that will last you a lifetime. Friendships will grow, musicianship will get stronger, and your group will bond over things you never knew could bring people together. Obviously, bobby pins, character shoes, and an extra pair of tights are must-haves for a show choir competition. But remember that your attitude, manners, and a dash of confidence will always take you further at a show choir competition than a can of hairspray ever will.

Remembering Alan Rickman: 4 Life Lessons from Professor Snape

“If only life could be a little more tender and art a little more robust.” (Alan Rickman)

The world loses wonderful people every day, but last week, the performing arts community lost an incredible man and performer: Alan Rickman. In honor of his life’s work and his unforgettable role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies, we’ve put together a list of life lessons that we learned from Professor Snape.


  1. Fight for what you believe in (even if it means sacrificing your reputation at times).

Professor Snape devoted his life to fighting for the right side in the wizarding world, but he did so behind the scenes. He appeared to most students as a harsh and unloving professor, and he was willing to sacrifice a positive appearance for the sake of fighting for his beliefs and the people he loved. He never faltered in his support for Dumbledore and his mission to protect the world from evil regardless of how he had to present himself to Hogwarts students to protect what he was fighting for.

  1. Loyalty will win out in the end.

Snape’s loyalty is a complicated topic because it wasn’t fully uncovered until the very end of the book series. Regardless of the specific person he was loyal to, he committed himself to the good side, and he majorly contributed to the good side’s victory over Voldemort and the Death Eaters. His contribution of memories (which were a result of his loyalty to Lily and Dumbledore) were a turning point in the final battle and helped Harry and his friends win the fight against evil.

  1. Stand up for those who will make the world a better place.

Snape could have easily been taken under Voldemort’s wing, but his love for Lily and appreciation for Dumbledore allowed him to stand and fight for young people that brought the wizarding world out of a very dark time. One moment in particular that comes to mind occurs in the third book of the series when Snape shields Harry, Ron, and Hermione from Professor Lupin when he is in his werewolf form. The Snape that readers knew at the time could have easily let Lupin get to the three students, but he protected them because he knew that they had so much to offer the wizarding world.

  1. Do everything with love.

Fighting for good, remaining loyal to your friends, and standing up for others—these actions all stem from one major lesson we can learn from Professor Snape. Do everything with love. His love for Lily Potter motivated his life’s work of protecting Harry and helping to defeat Voldemort. His love for Dumbledore gave him the courage to die for the right cause. Though he seemed rather harsh and insensitive at times, he used these unlikeable qualities to put himself in a position to protect and care for those who needed him most.


Goal Setting: Taking Advantage of THIS Semester

Spring classes are underway, competition rehearsals are in full-gear, and it’s time for a new semester of memories and academic adventures. It’s important to take full advantage of the time that you have this semester, but how can you make sure you’re accomplishing the things that you want to with your performance ensemble? Set goals. It sounds so simple, but setting specific and concrete goals is a great way to start the semester and ensure that you finish without letting opportunities pass by. We suggest making a list of short-term and long-term goals to give yourself “deadlines” and stay on track with what you hope to accomplish.

The first step is determining your end-of-semester goal so that you can list smaller steps that help move you toward that goal. In this step, it’s important to reflect on what you want to improve. Every group has differing strengths and weaknesses, both musical and non-musical. If no larger goal comes to mind immediately, take a few minutes and write down your group’s strengths and weaknesses to give you a clearer picture of what you want to work on. Maybe you want to encourage better teamwork in your group, or perhaps you want to use rehearsal time more efficiently. Maybe you have something musical you want to work on like vocal blend or sharper and cleaner choreography. Whatever that goal is, write it down and put it somewhere that you will see it every day so that you are reminded of the goal you are working towards.

Step two is to focus on the small, short-term goals and move forward from there. Here is a list of questions and suggestions for these short-term goal deadlines:

What can I accomplish TODAY?

  • I can plan my vocal warmups ahead of time to bring in elements of our competition set that need improvement.
  • I can start rehearsal exactly on time to take full advantage of the limited time I have with my students.
  • I can take five minutes of class-time to do a team-building activity.

What can I accomplish this WEEK?

  • I can perfect the hardest vocal section of our ballad. (Maybe try a sectional rehearsal!)
  • I can make sure my students have a packing list for an upcoming competition.
  • I can clean up the transitions between the numbers in our competition set.

What can I accomplish this MONTH?

  • I can make a game-plan for more efficient rehearsals with my student leaders (i.e. dance captains and officers if you have them).
  • I can delegate more responsibility to willing parent volunteers. (Ask yourself: what are some things that parent volunteers are able to do that would take stress out of my life?)
  • I can work on positive attitudes in my group by approaching challenges with positivity and encouragement.

Whatever your goals for the semester are, write them down and keep them somewhere that you will see them every day. Take advantage of the time you have with your performance group because this is the only semester you will work with this exact group of students. Keep up the great work, and best of luck to you this semester!

How do I dress my show choir for a competition closer?

How do I dress my show choir for a competition closer?

Competition season is on its way, and you have your beautiful opening outfits ordered. Sequins that sparkle, dresses that twirl, and a choir that sounds absolutely fantastic. But something is missing… your second outfit! Many successful show choirs try to put together a competition set that shows off a wide variety of styles and musical genres, and your outfits can help with that. Here are some suggestions for some funky closer outfits to contrast your classic opening look.




You can be edgy and still sparkle on stage in this fabulous new design from Rivar’s. The 2118TUN allows for mixing and matching because the inset and the dress can be designed with different fabrics. The faux leather in this photo contrasts nicely with the Stunning Sequins fabric. Consider using Sassy Sequins as the primary fabric with a coordinating Sparkle Illusion for the inset if you’re going for a more classic tunic. Or if you want to go the opposite direction with your design, Krazy Kat and Electric Rose are both bright and bold prints that will make your ensemble stand out.




2066TUN with ACC-8004 leggings


1091SEP and 2626WPA

Speaking of Krazy Kat… give your choir a fierce closing look with this sassy, colorful animal print. It comes in six different colors, so you can mix and match it with other fabrics as you choose. In the photo on the left, we’ve paired blue/green/turquoise Krazy Kat with black
leggings (which happen to be an in-stock item!). Inthe photo on the right, we’ve used black/purple Krazy Kat for the leggings and faux leather for the 1091SEP top.  Some directors we’ve worked with have paired this fabric with metallic knit or Bem Bem Sequins. Our favorite thing about this fabric? It’s super soft and stretchy, so it’s comfortable AND it can be used for tops or bottoms in an outfit.


partner dancing showchoir performance Westside Middle School

Westside Middle School (Omaha, NE)

We can’t forget about the boys!  With quick-changes, it can be hard to get out of one suit and into another, and we understand that suits can also be pricey competition items. Think about something like a metallic knit t-shirt or collared shirt for your guys. Darker colors like gunmetal, black, and royal are
fantastic options to keep your men looking strong and put-together. Consider pairing these tops with their dress pants from the opening number for an easier quick-change and a less expensive costume.

Putting together a competition set is not an easy task, but we are happy to help your group look fierce and fabulous in their outfits. With so many fabric options and choir costume designs, it’s easy at Rivar’s to make it yours.

What do high school sports and performing arts have in common?

What do high school sports and performing arts have in common?

Cliques are a defining factor of many students’ high school experience. They vary from school to school, but there always seems to be a division between athletics and performing arts. Last week, one of our marketing managers sent us this article about Chicago Cubs rookie Kyle Schwarber and his involvement in high school show choir. After a little more research, I found information about several other professional athletes who were involved in high school performing arts: Danica Patrick, Joe Montana, and Walter Payton, just to name a few. While the physical skills involved in sports and performing arts differ greatly, the professional and social skills share more commonalities than one might think. Both sports and the arts offer opportunities to foster important life skills that carry students far beyond the walls of their high school. Here are four skills that students develop in both sports and performing arts:


Just like football players must work together to score a touchdown, choir members must work together to make a beautiful sound. Harmony doesn’t exist musically (or socially!) unless students work as a group. It’s natural for a football team to have a star player, but he can’t win a game on his own. In choir, there will be soloists and featured performers, but soloists don’t win competitions—choirs do. Understanding how to work on a team is an essential life skill that will carry young adults far beyond high school, and both athletics and performing arts offer plenty of opportunities to develop that particular skill.


Whether it’s a championship basketball game or a show choir competition, everyone likes to win. Winning does not happen without hard work and a lot of it. Both athletes and music students learn very quickly that success does not come easily, and they must put their best foot forward on the stage and the court to be at the top of their game. Sports and music are both competitive fields, and competition offers students motivation to work their absolute hardest, and this development of work ethic and drive will carry them into their college careers, professional endeavors, and personal lives.


As rewarding as winning is, losing also builds character and is an extremely important part of all stages of life. After all, isn’t winning that much more gratifying if you understand how it feels to be on the other side of it? When a basketball team loses a game, they still line up to shake hands or give high-fives to the winning team at the end of a game. When a show choir places lower than they would like to at a competition, that choir’s representatives must keep a positive face on stage during the awards ceremony. While losing can be difficult, it often contributes to a stronger drive following the loss, which plays a role in the future success of the team, the group, and the individual.


High school athletes train for months in their chosen sport to get in the best shape they can and hone the skills that will offer them the best chance at winning. They also work hard to stay healthy so that their bodies are able to perform at the highest level possible. Performing arts students practice their music and choreography for months before performances and competitions so they can perform to their best of their abilities and hopefully win the competition they’re at. These students must take vocal and physical health into consideration as they prepare for their shows. To perfect any skill, one must put forth a lot of time and effort, and high school athletics and performing arts are both great arenas in which to learn this.

The football field and the stage may sit far apart on a high school campus, but both places offer opportunities for students to develop skills that are important during their high school years and in the time after they graduate. Whether a student chooses a high school sport, auditions for the show choir, or has the wonderful chance to participate in both, that student is learning how to be a team player, developing a drive to succeed, understanding how to lose gracefully, and perfecting their chosen skill. When that happens, everybody wins.

How do I design costumes for my show choir competition set?

How do I design costumes for my show choir competition set?

The rehearsals and performances never stop for show choirs! Holiday shows are around the corner, and it’s already time to kick into gear for competition season. For directors that are newer to the show choir competition circuit, designing costumes for a competition set can seem daunting and overwhelming. Here are a few things we suggest that you think about when putting together costumes for your show choir:

  1. A 5, 6, 7—quick-change!

That snug, sequin dress may look fabulous on all of your girls, but if it’s tough to get on, we would recommend choosing something else for a finale outfit. Costumes that require more time and care to put on work well for opening numbers because the performers have more time get them on in the dressing rooms. Costumes that go on (and off if you have more than one costume change) easily are a must for any quick-changes. Stretchy fabrics are great, but if you have a backstage crew helping with costume changes, zippers on less-forgiving fabrics can also work well.

  1. Thematic Inspiration

Are you designing your competition set with a theme in mind? With so many color and fabric choices, you have the option to design costumes that will support your theme. Perhaps you’re looking at music with a fire theme: check out reds, oranges, golds and metallic knits in those colors. 5471335686_5639cb1748Trying out a Broadway theme? Women in classic, floor-length dresses paired with men in a timeless black and white suit will shout that style to everyone in the room. Going for an edgier look to pair with pop and rock hits? Metallic knit, faux leather, bold colors—these are just a few ways to match your outfits with your music. Our account managers are happy to help you design costumes that will make your show choir competition set the best it can be.

  1. Make it memorable (in all the right ways)!

Every show choir wants the judges and the audience to 13849349493_1a14678cc9remember their performance, and your costumes play a major role in that. If you’re sticking with that Broadway theme, think outside of the black-and-white box and maybe choose a color with a little more pop. Consider custom-designing an outfit that isn’t found in our catalog so that your group really makes a statement.* Keep your group’s hair and makeup in mind as well as you put together a memorable look because visuals are about more than the costumes and choreography. Check back in a few months for our special competition blog, where we’ll be covering hair and makeup ideas and tutorials for competition season.


Competition season is an exciting time of year in the show choir community. Let us help you put together costumes that will make a statement and help you sparkle on your way to the top!

*Note: If you are interested in doing a custom design, please contact your account manager as soon as possible or call Rivar’s and we’ll put you with an account manager. The process is a little different from ordering from the catalog. We would be happy to help you with designs and get your performers in one-of-a-kind costumes!