That’s all it took for the Grandview High School Supermen and Superwomen to prove they are just that: super.
The Supermen and Superwomen rehearsed for 320 minutes – that’s eight, 40-minute rehearsals, held on their own time outside of school hours – before taking top honors in the International Youth Barbershop Chorus Festival on Jan. 19 in Costa Mesa, Calif. Both groups received a “Superior” ranking, the highest ranking possible, and were selected as co-winners of the Presenter's Award as the top choral groups in the festival.
“I am very proud of these students,” said Grandview Choir Director Darin Drown. “They took on a new style of music and competed at a very high level with just eight, 40-minute rehearsals this year.”
Drown explained that the International Youth Barbershop Chorus Festival features select choral groups from around the world. This year, 20 groups from the United States and Canada were selected from 50 groups that applied to perform. In previous years, groups have come from as far away as Sweden, New Zealand and Hong Kong to compete.
In the festival, each group performs three a cappella songs, two of which are required to be in the barbershop style.
“Barbershop harmony is four-part, close harmony singing, where the melody is in the second from the highest voice, rather than the top voice, which is normal for choir,” Drown said. “It is also quite theatrical in style.”
All of the members of the Supermen and Superwomen take choir classes during the school day, but they do these extracurricular groups on their own time, meeting on alternating Thursday mornings for 40 minutes before school starts. Drown says the Supermen usually number about 75 boys, while the Superwomen draw about 95 girls. For the festival, schools were limited to 100 students total, so 48 boys and 52 girls made the trip to California.
If you'd like to see the Supermen and Superwomen in action, make plans to attend the Grandview Grand Evening event on Sat., April 28.