Minnesota-based show choirs swept the top three spots in the 30th annual Onalaska Show Choir Classic, held Saturday at Onalaska High School.

Riverside Company from Hastings High School, a frequent winner at the Classic, was this year’s grand champion, also winning awards for best vocals, choreography and band. Hastings was followed by the Bridge Street Singers from St. Francis High School and Vocalmotive from Bemidji High School, which won the award for best costumes.

La Crosse Central’s Grand Central Station and Holmen’s Midwest Express were fourth and fifth, respectively, while another Minnesota choir, Rhythm in Gold from Bloomington Kennedy High School, placed sixth and won the People’s Choice Award.

Minnesota choirs also fared well in the prep division, with Upstage Revolution from Hastings and the East Side Swingers from Bloomington Kennedy taking the top two spots, followed by Octave Above from Milton, Wis., and La Crosse Logan’s Classy Ladies.

Saturday’s event featured a salute to Paul Gulsvig, the former Onalaska High School choral director who started the Classic in 1988. Gulsvig, who retired from OHS in 2006, now travels the country as a choral clinician. He served as one of the judges at Saturday’s Classic.

La Crosse choirs took three of the top four spots in the companion concert choir competition, held Friday evening at First Lutheran Church in Onalaska.

Central’s Robed Choir was grand champion, with Logan’s Select Choir finishing third and Central’s Women’s Choir fourth. The A Cappella Choir from Fort Dodge placed second, winning honors for best tenor and bass sections while Central won for best alto and soprano sections.

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Entertainment and county government reporter

Randy Erickson covers arts and entertainment and county government for the La Crosse Tribune. Contact him at 608-791-8219 or randy.erickson@lee.net.

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