“It just keeps getting better!”

“It just keeps getting better!”

That's what students, parents and the Carthage High School show choir teacher are saying about this year's performances from the two groups, Soundwave and Sweet Sounds. With many competitions left in the season, including SoundFest at home on Feb. 23, the future looks bright for these young performers.

“I am incredibly proud,” said CHS show choir teacher Katie Crigger. “I have the best students anyone could ask for. They're hard working, dedicated and every time they get on the stage you can tell they love what they do. And to me, that's the icing on the cake.”

On that note, the all-girl choir, Sweet Sounds, agrees their performance has improved and so has their leader who will mark her third year with the high school this year.

“Mrs. Crigger is so great,” said CHS junior Katie Burge, who has been in the program since her freshman year. “We're all a little crazy but we love each other.”
Classmate Brittany Patterson agreed, expressing her excitement.

“I feel like we're doing great,” she said. “Since the beginning of the year we've really improved … The best part is doing what you love with the people you love.”

For the first time in 10 years, the choir brought home a first place trophy. That victory was tallied Feb. 2 in Mt. Vernon; the group faced competition in Harrisonville on Feb. 9, and will travel to Nevada the following weekend.

“We have placed in every single competition and every weekend it just keeps getting better,” Crigger said. “The kids are fired up, I'm fired up – It's been a really great year.”

The success of the groups has brought much delight to the parents as well. Karen Gillam, parent of Natalie, CHS freshman, said she couldn't be more proud of them all.

“I have been to every competition and every time it gets better and better,” she said. “The hair on my arms just stands up when they break out into song. They have worked so hard since July, and when they practice, they do it till they get it right. Mrs. Crigger gives it 150 percent and I think it's phenomenal. They're on fire – and it's really exciting.”