WL show choir goes out like a hero

Emily Archer · Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The heroes of Voices Unlimited ended their season strong, like a superhero, on Saturday, March 1, during a competition in Marion. They were alive on stage, having as much energy and enthusiasm as the competing 4A schools.

The group placed first in class 2A and made it into finals beating all 2A and 3A groups, as well as one 4A group. They competed with four other 4A schools in the finals, taking fifth runner up.

“I told them that the thing holding them back is fearing greatness,” said Nathan Shivers, the director of the show choir and all choirs of West Liberty High School. “And then they went out and performed really well.”

Voices Unlimited, a group of 37 performers, 14 band members and 2 crew, had a rough start to the year. First, the high school musical ate up practice time. Second, a surge of new members joined the choir according to Shivers.

“I think just having 18 new kids and just getting them to perform at the level that they are is probably my proudest accomplishment for them,” said Shivers.

While there was some trouble getting into the season, Shivers mentioned he had many pep talks with choir, which he called “come to Jesus meetings.” He would try to promote excellence and foster excitement for the show choir.

“Every group has [issues], it’s just what you do with them after that,” said Shivers. “They’ve just really come around and wanted to perform.”

The show choir persevered, riding the storm out and having a successful year.

“I told the kids that today, I didn’t know what to expect because we had so many new kids,” said Shivers. “But they’ve just done a really good job. Yes, they’ve exceeded all my expectations!”

The show choir went to four competitions this year, including West Branch, Muscatine, Indianola and Marion. They made it to finals twice. They didn't make it to finals in Indianola, and was only 5.5 points shy from beating a 3A school to go to finals in Muscatine.

They also went to State in Keota where they received a division I rating, the highest rating out of five. This was the fourth division I rating for the current seniors.

According to Nathan Shivers, and many Voices Unlimited members, the turning point was during the competition at West Branch.

“They were terrified during the day time [performance], and then the night time [performance] they actually felt like they could perform,” said Shivers.

Ina Haskell, a junior at West Liberty High School and member of Voices Unlimited for all three years, also made note of the West Branch competition.

“We’d never gotten more than fifth runner up in finals before, so when we got third runner up at West Branch we broke some personal records,” said Haskell.

After the West Branch competition the group took a while to “grasp what a good show choir is,” according to Haskell. Afterwards it began its winning season.

“The feeling when you walk off stage knowing you just crushed it is one of the best things ever,” said Haskell.

While another show choir season will soon approach, this show will still remain a special one for some.

“The show choir is my hero. For all their hard work, dedication, and… excitedness!” said Shivers.
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