BEMIDJI-Vocalmotive is off to another strong start to the show choir season, and Bemidji area fans will have a chance to see the award-winning performance next weekend.

The Bemidji High School show choir kicked off its season last weekend with a first runner-up finish at the Onalaska (Wis.) Showstoppers competition. Vocalmotive also won awards for best costumes and best choreography. Grand Champion was The Amazing Technicolor Show Choir from Omaha, Neb.

The 24th annual Vocalmotive Dinner Show will be held Friday through Sunday at the BHS Commons. Shows are planned at 7 p.m. Friday, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday. Dinner show tickets are nearly sold out, but dessert tickets still available for $10 by calling (218) 766-1069. The school's all-girl La Voce Ballo show choir also will perform at the shows.

The theme for this year's Vocalmotive show is "Game of Survival." Co-captains Ryan Norenberg and Emma Muller, seniors in their third year with Vocalmotive, are pleased with the chemistry of this year's show choir.

"It was an honor to become captain for this team," Muller said. "As captains our biggest role is just to make sure that we create an environment that is more like a family and to make us get as close as we can. We still have room to grow, because it's early in the season, but I think we've all gotten very close."

Norenberg added, "I talk to the guys before performances and try to get them hyped up, because you only perform twice at each competition, so you only have two shots to do it. If you can do it perfectly, the judges can just really see that. You really invest yourself into the show."

Muller, who also played volleyball for the Lumberjacks, sees some similarities between athletic and show choir competitions.

"I've been in athletics and music my whole life," she said. "They're very different, but there are a few similarities, with like nerves and the mental aspect of it. For sports it's more of a physical thing, and you need to get your body trained. It's similar to that in Vocalmotive, but I think a bigger part of it is the mental game and a lot of little technical things."

Muller said her favorite part of this year's show is "Gold Dust Woman," a Fleetwood Mac song.

"It's just a very different style of music than we usually do," she said. "It's kind of a lyrical song so we do a lot of flowy movements. A lot of times Vocalmotive is known for their hard-core choreography, and I think it's really cool to kind of tone it back and have more a lyrical flow to it."

After the dinner shows, Vocalmotive will set its sights on earning more hardware as the show choir season ramps up with competitions at Waconia on Feb. 16, at Hastings on Feb. 23 and at Fridley's Totino Grace on March 15-16.

Norenberg is excited about Vocalmotive's prospects in those events. "At Onalaska, we went head to head with a couple of the best show choirs in the Midwest," he said, "and we ended up getting second place and we also beat them on the choreography category. The talent and dedication in this group is great in this group."