By Sam Bianco
It's a question that's often asked in the world of show choir but is frequently left unsettled by the end of each year: which show choir is the best in the nation?
While perennial powerhouses such as Clinton, Los Alamitos, Burbank, John Burroughs, Waubonsie Valley, and Waukee can always expect to find themselves in the conversation, there are also lesser-known choirs that occasionally burst onto the national scene and make some noise.
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With these top groups separated by distance and travel budgets, we often don't get to see all of the best choirs face off against one another in a true championship showdown.
This past year, the Show Choir National Championships and the FAME National Championships were both won by the same choir, "Sound FX" from Los Alamitos High School in California. This would make a pretty compelling argument that "Sound FX" was the best choir in the country in 2016.
But the National Show Choir Ranking System had Los Alamitos ranked third this past season, with Clinton's "Attaché" in first and Waubonsie Valley's "Sound Check" in second. How can this be true if Los Alamitos won both major national championship series?
Both "Attaché" and "Sound Check" went undefeated in 2016 against some major competition, but neither went to the Show Choir or FAME National Championships. That's not to say that "Sound FX" has a runaway argument, despite winning both national championships. Unlike its rivals in the top three, "Sound FX" did have one blemish on its record -- a second-place finish behind Burbank's "In Sync" at the Heart "Encore" show on March 11 in Newhall, California.
In a perfect world, these three amazing choirs would compete head to head, giving us a clear-cut champion. Since that did not happen, a judgment call has to be made.
I believe that sweeping the national championship competitions should earn a group the title of best choir in the nation for that year, so I have to give the title to Los Alamitos "Sound FX." That being said, all three of these amazing show choirs have their performances from last season available on YouTube, so you can go watch them and judge for yourself!
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Crowning The Top Show Choir In The Country Is Harder Than You Think
By Sam Bianco