New Palestine show choir places in top 3 at state contest

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The New Palestine Diamond Sensations perform at the ISSMA Small School Show Choir Finals at Franklin Central High School.

Rob Baker | Daily Reporter

NEW PALESTINE — New Palestine High School’s Diamond Sensations and Crimson Heat choirs had sensational performances at the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) State Championships over the weekend.

The all-female Diamond Sensations group finished in third place in the State Small School — Unisex Division. That’s the best placement in NPHS choir history.

The New Palestine Crimson Heat also made it to the state finals but finished as a finalist in the Small School Division — Mixed Finals Result. The ISSMA State Championships were held Saturday in The Robert L. Mason Auditorium at Franklin Central High School in Indianapolis.

“Both groups have exceeded my expectations this year,” Choir Director Stephen Beebe said. “One of the goals for both our choir groups was to not only to qualify for state finals, which we’ve done for 12 or 13 times, but we said, ‘instead of just making it there, lets shoot for the top five.’”

The NPHS all-girls choir Diamond Sensation tied the Pendleton Heights Emerald Suites for the third place finish. Northridge Starlights, Middlebury, won the state title while the Huntington North Vikings Volume choir took second place.

Both the NPHS choirs are under the direction of Beebe who noted it’s great to see all the work put in behind the scenes paying off for the students and the choir program.

“It is rewarding because we work hard and no one knows how hard the students and the groups work,” Beebe said. “We have all kinds of students with all kinds of talents and gifts and it’s great for them to be noticed.”

Beebe gave credit to the seniors who he said stepped up and raised the bar high setting the expectations for the season. Beebe put together the competition show for the Diamond Sensations which was about 15 minutes long with multiple songs.

“The songs all have a purpose with an opener that grabs the attention,” Beebe said. “Our second number was heavy, followed by a ballad, then a transition number that ramps up and then we had a high energy powerful finish.”

Beebe noted this year’s show was about luxury and glamour as they started off with long skirts.

“It was all very elegant,” Beebe said. “We opened with a song called ‘Gorgeous.’”

They then performed an original song, “A Life that’s Glamorous,” for the second song followed by the ballad, “Pretty Hurts.” Then came, “The Glamorous Life,” with “Fabulous Baby” as the closer.

“All the songs were kind of related and had that theme to them and the girls just really did a fantastic job,” Beebe said.

Show choirs received placement trophies and caption awards for Best Vocals, Best Visuals, and Best Instrumental Ensemble. The American Dairy Association Indiana in collaboration with Prairie Farms Dairy also awarded a $1,000 “Winners Drink Milk” scholarship to the Unisex and Mixed State Show Choir Champion School from both the Large School and Small School Classification.