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.

Evan

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

JESSAMYN ANDERSON, Customer Service

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.

A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

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!

CONFIDENCE

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

AN OPEN MIND

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.

A SHOW CHOIR SMILE

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.

MANNERS

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?

A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

“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.