Sixteen high school and four junior high groups competed this year at the Old West Choir Fest in Scottsbluff Saturday, including a few groups from Aurora, Colo., and Wyoming.
Chase County’s 9th St. Singers were among the high school groups.
All groups performed in the preliminary round during the day in five divisions, based on school enrollment and size of the performing group.
The top scoring group in each division (except junior high groups) would move to the finals, plus the next two highest scores. The judges could also select one wild card group to perform in the finals.
Only four Gold Trophies were awarded during the preliminary round and 9th St. Singers earned one of them, winning the 3A division. The seven selected show choirs then performed in the finals Saturday night.
When the final scores were announced at the awards ceremony, the 9th St. Singers were selected second place, just behind a performing group from Aurora, CO.
First place went to a group from Gateway High School, 9th St. Singers were 2nd, while third place went to a second group from Gateway.
Director Randy Hayes noted the 9th St. Singers performed with five members absent from the group due to other activities and was the very first performance for 10 new singers in the group.
“With our first performance in the preliminary round, I was confident we would win our division and go to the finals, but you never know for certain until those scoring points are totaled; music is such a subjective area in judging,” Hayes said.
“The students really performed at another level during the finals and it was a thrilling moment when it was announced we had earned the second place honor,” Hayes said.
“It is very difficult to prepare our fall musical with all the other conflicting activities and then, within one week, put the final touches on our show choir performance for the Scottsbluff competition,” he added.
Hayes said the students worked really hard last week to put themselves in a position to win their division and second place overall, “in spite of the obstacles they had to face.”
The Old West Choir Fest is now sponsored by Scottsbluff High School. Previously, the Hometown Family Radio Network was its sponsor.