The 2002 All Americans
The 2002 All Americans was a group that came over much adversity but ended up being a successful building year for ETC.
Before the 2002 season ETC had three groups, the All American Youth Show Choir (grades 10-12), The Main Street Singers (grades 7-9) and the New Generation (grades 4-6). After two years of seeing the numbers dwindle in the All American Youth Show Choir (especially boys) the board decided to make a change in ETC.
In that 2001 season the high school group had about 34 members and only 10 guys. On the other hand, the Main Street Singers had 53 members, 25 of them being guys. The bulk of the group were also 8th and 9th graders. In an attempt to boost numbers, it was decided to eliminate the New Generation and move ETC to just two groups. Along with the move to two groups, the director of the All Americans was stepping down, so the director of the New Generation and Main Street Singers Cheryl Boigegrain was now taking over the high school group.
The new change would bring the 9th graders to the high school group, and Main Street would now become grades 5-8. Along with adding freshman it was also decided to shorten the name of the high school group. Instead of the All American Youth Show Choir, the group would now be called the “All Americans”.
The change meant that a whopping 40 members from Main Street (16 guys) were eligible to move up to the All Americans for the 2002 year.
Naturally not all auditioned, but it left the All Americans in good position. The group came into the year with 50+ members and around 18-19 guys.
The show picked for the group was an ambitious one, with each song written in 6+ parts and having multiple styles from classical, to Broadway, to a stomp number with brooms, and a stomp style tap closer.
The group started out strong in workshop, but then fell into some tough times. Although the group had a lot of talent, there was a divide within the group between the returning members of the All Americans and the new members from Main Street. This led to many arguments, disagreements, and slowed progress on a very difficult show.
The group made it through the first competition at Ada with a 4th place finish. After that the attrition started for the group. Many members quit to the point where the group ended up with 40 members and about 12 guys.
To try and fix the show the choreographer came in 3 more times before January and the group had to figure out where they wanted to go with the year. It was around that time that the group finally started to band together and become a group.
They struggled at their next two competitions, coming in 7th place at Mt. Zion, Illinois and then 13th place at Davenport, Iowa. The group then came together at their second to last competition at Lakeview in Battle Creek, Michigan. The group put on a great prelims show and went into finals in 1st place by only a few points. They then put on the best performance of the year. At awards they won Best Show Design and Best Choreography. They still were unsure if they did it as the group who was in 2nd won Best Vocals. In the end the group was announced as Grand Champions, which was the first win in high school of the younger members and was the seniors first ever win in high school. It was a great night that made all the hard work and drama worth it.
The 2002 group was the first in ETC’s new configuration. It had many ups and downs, but in the end the group came together to make lasting friendships and give the seniors a sendoff with their first win.
You can also check out videos of the show here: ETC All Americans 2002 Playlist