High school rivals join to perform at benefit concert

Iowa City West and City high’s show choirs came together at City High school to perform their shows on January 11th, 2017.


Sarah Longmire

“GTC is such an amazing group to be part of. Being on stage surrounded by incredibly talented people is such an exhilarating feeling. It’s nice to be part of a space where I can be vulnerable, wild, and have fun all the same time.” Jade Merriwether ’17

Sadie Rhomberg, Reporter

Iowa City West and City High are known to be big rivals, but yesterday they came together to celebrate and support each other. City High school hosted the Greater Iowa City Area Student Scholarships (GICASS) benefit concert, featuring both West (ICW) and City High (ICH) schools. The show was formerly known as Dollars for Scholars. The two high schools do not compete against one another during the competition season, so this is one of their only chances to watch each other’s shows.   

“It’s important for us to be able to see City perform since we haven’t had the chance to,” said ICW Primetime singer Kate Randle ‘20.

Even though she loves watching her prep group perform, ICH 4th Ave Jazz Company singer Nathalie Alvarado ‘18 wanted to have the chance to watch West’s shows from the crowd.

“We see other show choirs at competitions, so it would be cool to watch West as well from the audience,” she said.

Many of the show choir members enjoy the joined shows with the two schools. ICW Good Time Company singer Damarius Levi ‘18 likes putting aside the rivalries to perform for each other.

“I enjoy getting to see both of City’s groups perform to see what they have worked hard on,” he said.

ICH 4th Ave Jazz Company singer Nia Washington ‘18 was excited to perform at GICASS this year.

“Dollars for Scholars has always been a super fun event. It’s great to unite, leave competition aside and cheer on the choirs from the school across the river for such a great cause,” she said.

In previous years, all of the other show choirs were able to sit in the audience and watch each other perform. This year, that wasn’t possible. With the addition of the third show choir at West, Primetime, it was difficult to provide enough seating for everyone.

This year there were homerooms that the show choir groups reported to during the performances. While City high’s groups performed, only the students from City were sat in the auditorium. The same went for West. During the West performances, only West students sat in the auditorium.

A livestream of the show was broadcast in the homerooms so the different schools were still able to see each other’s shows. In the past this wasn’t an issue, so some of the members were somewhat displeased. If they had the decision, some of the students in show choir would have chosen to see the other school’s show over their own.

ICW Primetime singer Sushma Santhana ‘20 would have preferred to watch City’s groups from the audience.

“City is going to see each other so many times,” she said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get to see them besides on a low quality screen.”

But, having their own school’s show choir watching them from the crowd can be uplifting.

“Even though I wanted to watch City, I like it when GTC watches us because they cheer us on and they motivate me to perform better,” said Santhana ‘20.

In the past there has been friction on the field, but there’s always support on the stage.