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Season-ending spectacular: The Sound Exchange, Bemidji show choirs to perform March 15-16

The Sound Exchange will be the featured guest performers at the Bemidji High School Auditorium on March 15 and 16. From left are: Nick Bailey, Christina Case, Caleb Lee, Eric Buegler and Luke Ericksen. Submitted photo.1 / 3
Vocalmotive performs at the Totino-Grace Showchoir Spectacular on March 3. The Bemidji High School group won first runnerup, best band, best choreography and spirit awards. Submitted photo. 2 / 3
Members of La Voce Ballo celebrate their first-place finish in the single gender division at Totino-Grace on March 3. It was the third top prize in three competitions this season for LVB. Submitted photo. 3 / 3

BEMIDJI—After a few grueling months of preparation and competition, it's time for Bemidji High School's show choirs to let their hair down and bask in the glory of a successful year.

The choirs—Vocalmotive and La Voce Ballo—completed their competition season March 3 at the Totino-Grace Showchoir Spectacular in Fridley. They will perform, along with Bemidji Middle School show choirs Jive and Pizazz, on Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16, at the BHS Auditorium.

That concert will feature The Sound Exchange, a five-member a capella group from the Twin Cities. Shows are at 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students. They are available at Lueken's Village Foods North and South, online at brownpapertickets.com and at the door.

"We love this show," said Chris Fettig, who is in his 24th year as Vocalmotive director. "It's usually really good because they're not competing and just can have a lot of fun."

Vocalmotive was first runner up at Totino-Grace and won awards for best band, best choreography and spirit. Judging for grand champion was so close that it came down to one judge and a single point. Hastings edged out Vocalmotive, which was performing with an illness-riddled cast.

"We were a pretty sick team in this last competition," Fettig said. "A lot of the kids lost their voices. I was really proud of them. They really had to fight through some adversity."

Jess Binstock is assistant director for Vocalmotive. Seth Freundschuh directs the band. April James, who lives in California, has been the choir's choreographer for 20 years; Jessie Lundin helps to polish the show by working at rehearsals four times during the season.

La Voce Ballo, an all-girls show choir, also excelled at Fridley, completing an unbeaten season by winning the single gender division. The group finished first in its division at all three competitions, winning at Waconia, Hastings and Totino-Grace.

Emily Paine is director of LVB. MacKenzie Degelder is assistant director, Rachel Johnson band director and Kevin Chase choreographer.

The Sound Exchange is the newest a capella group to be featured at the season-ending event. Six Appeal has performed the last four years, and before that Home Free was here. Fettig credits Show Choirs of Bemidji vice president Lori Fraley for turning the event into a successful fundraiser.

"It's underwritten by a lot of businesses in town and that helps it to be 100 percent profit for us," Fettig said. "When people come to it their money is going right to the program."

The Sound Exchange is made up of four men and a woman. They won the National Harmony Sweepstakes competition in 2017. The group is known for tight harmony with a comedic flair.

"They're high energy," Fettig said. "They should be a lot of fun, and it will be something new for the audience."