The show choir took three out of four awards at the “Diamond Classic,” including Grand Champion, Best Choreography and Best Vocals.
Then in the “Southern Showcase,” the choir took every award, adding Best Overall Effect to their list of February achievements.
Category winners are determined based on point system ratings by the judges.
Another personal achievement for the group was having a vocal score 20 points higher than any other choir in the competition.
Bass section leader D.J. Hoskins said the initial realization of winning is exciting, but the choir tries to save the real celebrating until after leaving the competition.
“You got to be humble,” he said.
Alto section leader Keely Maynard said it’s breathtaking to win.
“Once we get on the bus its a little difficult to control the excitement,” co-director Katie Philips said.
Co-director Jeremiah Pritchard said Revolution has lost at competition in the past, so the choir members know how it feels. This helps them be sensitive to the other choirs, he said.
Revolving around their theme of “True Colors,” the show choir performance included “I’m Blue,” “99 Red Balloons,” “The Color Purple” and “True Colors.”
Pritchard said this year students had to change costumes three times, except for D.J. D.J played a blue man in the song “I’m Blue” and had four costume changes. The song gives him a break-dance solo in which he dressed in blue and wore a blue mask.
The competition season is not over for Revolution, yet. The group has another big competition coming up in March.
Pritchard said the first Friday in March will find them back in Alabama for a competition. He said this is probably the biggest competition they will be a part of this year. Philips said a rival choir, who has also won all their competitions this year, will also be there.
Preparation to be the best starts early. Keely said the choir started working on their 20 minute competition set in July.
The students attended a week long camp to kickoff the show choir season, according to Pritchard.
Yet, preparation for the directors actually begins before then. Philips said the directors will soon be considering what songs they want to use in next year’s competitions.
“It really is a year project for us, putting it all together,” Philips said.
She said the directors need this time to purchase music, brainstorm costumes and work out choreography before practicing.
Philips said as a director she pushes the students to do their best.
“It’s really fun for us to see them grow, and not just in singing and dancing, but to grow as people,” Philips said.
Her favorite point is when student know they have done their best in a performance.
Many of the section leaders tried out for the choir after seeing Revolution perform. Some have family members who have participated in the past.
Keely said she wanted to join the show choir after watching her brother perform when he was in middle school.
“I used to go to all his shows... and he always talked about it like it was an amazing experience ... and it has been,” Keely said.
Tenor section leader James Raines saw a choir performance during his first year at the school, and decided he wanted to be a part.
“I like to sing and dance. It looked really cool when I came here (so I tried out),” James said.
Revolution has been an ongoing choir at Lake Forest since August 2001. In that time, group traditions and a sense of family have strengthened the unity of the choir.
“They are together so much and they work so hard together,” Philips said. “Going through these experiences, they really develop relationships.”
Keely said being in choir has given her a group of loyal friends, even if it is challenging being together so much during the competition season.
“Over anything, that’s your show choir family and you will do anything for them,” Keely said.
James said focusing in the midst of competition nervousness can also be difficult. To combat this, choir directors give each student a Fruit Breezer before their warm-up the day of the competition. Once a student gets their cough drop, they have to be quiet and take time to concentrate on the performance and relax.
Another choir tradition came out of tough times for its members and directors. In response to these troubles, the choir wrote a song, “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled.”
“So, the last thing we sing before we go out onto the stage as a family is ‘Let Not Your Heart be Troubled,’ ” Pritchard said.
D.J. said Revolution has given him friendships with people he never would have met outside of choir.
Biological family participation and support is also an important element of the show choir.
“You have parents who feel just as much a part of this group as any kid has,” Pritchard said.
Unity for Revolution goes beyond its current members. Pritchard said this year the show choir is using their Gospel tour as a reunion tour and inviting past members of the choir to come and participate.