The last competition we went to was Show Choir Nationals in Nashville, Tennessee. I was unsure of what to expect at this competition; I knew that by no means was it going to be a cake-walk. However, like we were all year, we were determined to do our best show. There were ten show choirs competing at the Grand Ole Opry and we were one of them. If you made it past day rounds, you would get another chance to perform in finals (only six of the groups made finals). The competition was stiff, but we knew that if we stuck to what we had been doing all year, we would be great; and great we were. After day rounds, we were in second place by a couple of points. The group ahead of us was SPECTACULAR so we knew we had to bring our A-game. When competing, it is hard to stay focused on having fun, because we are so concentrated on winning.
However, the next day when we performed, we were determined more than ever. We were so close to first place in day rounds, we knew we had to pull out our best show all year. This was our last competition as a group; our last show in front of many people; our last time to be together as a family. We had to make sure we went out with a bang. After we finished our last show, we all burst into tears and these were tears of joy and sadness. We would never compete all together again, and we knew that we did our best show we could have possibly done. Then it was time for awards; sixth place, fifth place, fourth place, and third place quickly passed by and then next thing we knew-it was down to us and the group that was leading during day rounds. The tension in the group was so stiff; we are all so nervous and we had no idea what was ahead of us. Next thing we knew, they called second and it wasn’t us. WE HAD WON. WE WON NATIONALS. WE WERE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.
As I walked out of the Grand Ole Opry wearing my bright yellow “Banana Jacket,” the greatest feeling came over me. I had people congratulating me and I was still crying from all of the excitement. The pride I had felt was like no other. People came all the way to Nashville to watch us; they wanted to see us; they realized all of the hard work we had put into our season. When people come up to us saying that they came all the way from Michigan to see US, it is a feeling like no other. I was so grateful to be a part of this great group of people. Our director had told us that “good things happen to good people.” We worked hard and we formed a family; we all had fun and wanted to do the best we could, and we did. When you work so hard and dream of something so big and it finally becomes reality, it is a feeling that is indescribable.
The group this year was amazing. I formed friendships that I know will last forever and I made memories that will forever stick with me. Every time I look at my “Banana Jacket” I am reminded of all of those great times. It reminds me that when you truly work for something, it can happen. It helps me to remember that you should never give up. My “Banana Jacket” gives me a sense of pride and gratefulness that I am a part of the amazing group, Happiness Incorporated.