TG’s Company of Singers finally making a comeback

After years of sweeping changes, Totino-Grace’s Company of Singers is working its way back to its former glory.
TG’s Company of Singers finally making a comeback

Company of Singers, Totino-Grace’s varsity show choir group, is finally making a comeback after three years of defeat. This group has a rich history of success at competitions in the past but has had a downfall over the past few years.

In 2019, the group experienced a director shift after their long beloved director of 29 years, Terry Voss, retired and the new director, Adam Miller took over. 

With the director shift came a wave of many performers leaving. Miller was a big change and his directing style was different than what Company of Singers was used to.

During Miller’s time at TG, the pandemic also hit in 2020 and turned the show choir world upside down. Restrictions on competitions, practices, mask-wearing, and delayed costuming further decreased interest in show choir as a whole. Then Miller left TG, leaving another new director, Philip Brown, to take over once again.

Photo by Jackson Altstaetter

Brown has been a good fresh start for the team. He had years of previous experience in directing choirs and had just come from directing Bloomington Jefferson’s varsity show choir, Jefferson Connection. Olivia Vanneste, a senior member of Company of Singers, remarked, “Brown knows how to motivate people and make good music. He is rebuilding the program and doing it quickly.” 

Many believe the key to bouncing back is to accept and embrace the changes Brown is bringing to show choir at TG. Sara Hokanson, senior soprano section leader, stated, “Change has to happen in order for the program to grow. Brown has a different approach than Voss did to directing, but it is wrong to try and compare them since they are so different and in completely different eras.” 

Photo by Karen Juntunen

Getting the program back to its former glory is going to be a lot of hard work, dedication, and most importantly, time. Hokanson stated, “There is rapid growth happening in both the varsity and jv groups. Between my freshman year and now is like night and day, and I believe that is completely due to the effort everyone is putting in non-stop.”. 

Now, for the first season in three years, Company of Singers took home a first-place trophy at a competition, along with multiple other awards. They placed 1st at the Pleasant Hill Battle of the Best (with five other sub-awards), 2nd at the Altoona Locopalooza, and 3rd at North Saint Paul’s Rock the North. 

Comparing this record to that of Miller’s first year, pre-pandemic 2020, where Company of Singers took home one 3rd placement, two 4th placements, one 6th placement, and 1 competition where they didn’t place, the difference is clear.  

With the improvement being so obvious now, all TG’s show choirs have to do now is continue to put in the hard work in the upcoming season. Hokanson commented, “I believe in the next few years our choir will be among some of the midwest elite.” 


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