Andover High School hosted the fifth annual New England Show Choir Showdown on Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24, with teams competing from schools across the country.

In total, 30 groups competed. The competition began on Friday afternoon and continued until late Saturday night. Since AHS was the host school, the AHS show choir did not compete, but they did perform at the end of each division. The all-boy group, Back to Bass-ics, performed after the Middle School Division. The all-girl group, Nothin’ But Treble, performed after the Unisex and Small Mixed Divisions and the large mixed group, From Start to Finish, performed after the Large Mixed Division.

More than 1,100 student performers, 200 band members, 150 tech crew members, and 1,300 audience members were in attendance. Many groups have even committed to returning for next year’s competition. The competition had six judges from New York, Iowa, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Mr. Desjardins, the vocal music director, said, “The competition went very well. It was an amazing success and all the students and parents did an amazing job hosting such a professional experience.”

Since AHS hosted, the responsibilities of the students were very different compared to if they were competing. Ms. Kennedy, the show choir’s choreographer, said, “Andover Vocal Music students worked at registration, sold tickets, worked concessions, delivered candy grams, sold 50/50 raffle tickets, directed traffic in the hallways, helped with parking.” They also “hosted the other schools, worked stage crew, [and] assisted with guest bands and their equipment needs.”

“Everyone loves NESCS so much because it’s this huge competition with so many people at once and you make so many friends from different groups,” Bridget Daggett, a sophomore in show choir said. “Everyone says it’s their favorite competition to attend during the whole season as everyone’s so nice!”

Kennedy said that preparations for this competition began very early in the year with hiring judges and booking flights and hotels for them. “Schools register for the event throughout the fall and early winter and we are in constant communication with them about the travel time, their performance time, any set pieces they need to store, [and] any special medical needs for their students,” Kennedy said.

By Grace Wright