Chicago Tribune - 15 things to do with the kids

Naperville North's third annual all-day competition brings together show choirs large and small, mixed and unisex, for a pizzazz-packed invitational. Watch 20 high-school groups from Iowa, Nebraska, Indiana and Illinois get their “Glee” on, in half-hour segments beginning at 7 a.m. Following a dinner break, finalists compete at 7:45 p.m., with winners announced at 11:30. (Naperville North’s choirs perform too, but not for the title.) All together now, everyone: jazz hands! At Naperville North High School, 899 N. Mill St., Naperville. $15.

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Naperville Magazine Names Nicholas Janssen "Influencer"

 Photo by Michael Hudson Photography

Photo by Michael Hudson Photography


By Julie Duffin


Singing and dancing have always come easy for Nicholas Janssen. He developed a love for performing at an early age that flourished during his high school show choir years. Now, as the instructional coordinator of fine arts and director of vocal music at Naperville North High School, he brings that experience to area students. On February 17 the school will host its third annual Clash of the Sequins national show choir competition.

People have been introduced to show choir competitions thanks to shows and movies like “Glee” and “Pitch Perfect.” Tell us a little bit about this world.
If you haven’t been involved in competitive high school show choir, you don’t realize how huge this world is. Choirs travel around the country competing in regional, national and international contests. Each group puts on a 20-minute performance, complete with costume changes, concert lighting and even special effects. It’s like Beyoncé meets a giant Vegas production.

How did Clash of the Sequins come to fruition?
When North’s show choir started competing five years ago, a group of parents suggested

Continue reading at Naperville Magazine...



Daily Herald Continues Support - Features Clash of the Sequins 2018!

Show choirs to battle for boxing belt
in Naperville

By Marie Wilson


A stage designed to look like a boxing ring and to feel like a major rock concert will be the highlight of the setup for the Clash of the Sequins, which pits show choir against show choir in an all-day fest at Naperville North High School.

The third annual event on Saturday, Feb. 17, is expected to draw between 4,500 and 6,000 people and raise between $20,000 and $70,000 for performing arts as it gives show choirs from four states the chance to shine.

Solo performances and educational clinics will take place throughout the day and throughout the school at 899 Mill St., but the spotlight will shine in the field house, where seating for 5,500 will be available for each main stage show.

Continue reading at the Daily Herald...

Groups Announced for 2018 Clash of the Sequins

Naperville North High School Hosts Third Annual “Clash of the Sequins” National Show Choir Competition
NAPERVILLE, IL -- January 15, 2018 --
Naperville North High School Show Choirs will host its Third Annual Clash of the Sequins National Show Choir competition on Saturday, February 17, 2018. The day’s schedule is still being finalized, but the all-day competition is expected to begin at 7:00 am, with the final round beginning at approximately 7:45 pm and continuing until 11:30 pm.

In just its third year, Clash of the Sequins’ rock-concert production values, combined with a fun and positive experience, are attracting top show choirs from around the country. Twenty show choirs from Indiana, Nebraska, Iowa and throughout Illinois will come to compete in front of an expected audience of 4,000 or more screaming fans. Attending groups include:

Unisex Show Choirs
Girls in Heels - Waubonsie Valley High School - Aurora, IL
Ladies First - John Hersey High School - Arlington Heights, IL
Mystiques - Pike High School - Indianapolis, IN
Sensations - Franklin Community High School - Franklin, IN
Simply Irresistible - Westside High School - Omaha, NE
Uptown Girls - Millard West High School - Omaha, NE

Small Mixed
Carmel Cadence - Carmel Catholic High School - Mundelein, IL
Impact - Wahlert Catholic High School - Dubuque, IA
IN Session - Springfield High School - Springfield, IL
The Oswego Commotion - Oswego High School - Oswego, IL
Soundwave - Peoria Area Performance Arts Studio - Peoria, IL

Large Mixed
The Amazing Technicolor Show Choir - Westside High School - Omaha, NE
Eisenhower Express - Dwight D. Eisenhower High School - Blue Island, IL
Encores - Pike High School - Indianapolis, IN
Heritage Singers - Franklin Community High School - Franklin, IN
Impulse - Wahlert Catholic High School - Dubuque, IA
OnStage - John Hersey High School - Arlington Heights, IL
River City Rhythm - Muscatine High School - Muscatine, IA
Sound Check - Waubonsie Valley High School - Aurora, IL
West in the Groove - Millard West High School - Omaha, NE

“The first two Clash of the Sequins competitions were wonderful all-around experiences, with amazing show choirs, the country's best judges, intensive clinics and delicious food from local businesses,” said Jennifer Inglis, co-chair of the Clash of the Sequins volunteer board.

“And the Third Annual Clash of the Sequins will have even more of the country’s top show choirs, more great judges and yes, even more great food.”

Clash of the Sequins is perfect family entertainment for everyone young and old, with all-day tickets costing just $15. In addition to the 20 competing teams, Naperville North High School’s nationally ranked Entourage and High Heeled Harmony will perform, accompanied by the award winning Hot Brockets combo band.

Naperville North High School Show Choirs host Clash of the Sequins to raise money for the performing arts, promote teamwork and leadership in the community and to spotlight Naperville as one of the top cities in the U.S.

Complete Clash of the Sequins Details:

Saturday, February 17 (times subject to change)
7 am - Performances Begin
6:00 pm - NNHS’ High Heeled Harmony performs
7:45 pm - Finals Round
11:00 pm - NNHS’ Entourage performs
11:30 pm - Winners Announced

Naperville North High School
899 Mill Street
Naperville, IL 60540

For more information, please visit or email 



NCTV 17 did a great feature on Naperville's booming show choir scene with a close look at Naperville North as we prepared for the 2017 Clash of the Sequins!


Watch the Video Feature


Naperville North’s show choir has been singing strong for seven years, growing from a small club to two nationally competitive groups with 40-50 students in each.

Recently the high school hosted the Clash of the Sequins 2017 invitational where they welcomed an audience with phenomenal performances.

The most important part of the show is of course the music.

“We think of songs that we feel our students will relate really well to and connect to. We also try songs that we know will be challenging for them but won’t challenge them above their ability level, we’ll push them to grow in areas that they need to grow in,” said Nicholas Janssen, the instructional coordinator of fine arts and director of vocal music at Naperville North.

“We take these songs that are otherwise really poppy and slow them down and make them almost tango-y and suspenseful and you can hear the audience they’re like ‘I love this song so much’ and to get to do a different rendition it’s like making it our own and making it our song,” said Abby Stevenson, a Naperville North senior in show choir.

The 20-minute set of music for these competitions take hours of rehearsing each week, but it’s all worth it.

“This is where I have my family, and like my second home,” said Abby Stevenson.

Watch the Video Feature




Naperville North High School almost had a Broadway feel to it Saturday as the school hosted Clash of the Sequins, a 12-hour-plus song-and-dance competition featuring 14 show choirs from 10 high schools and four states.

The idea for a song-and-dance competition was first broached about five years ago but needed the blessing of Nicholas Janssen, the school's musical director and fine arts instructional coordinator, who was reluctant at first, co-chair Anita Mraz said.

"The idea started after a number of parents and their kids were going to various competitions...," Mraz said. "We shadowed other groups, and we kept pushing until he said yes."

Janssen said he got on board about a year ago thanks to "an amazing community of parents who researched and presented such a great proposal, there was no way to say no."

"We've gotten great feedback about our event today," Janssen said. "I think we resolved a number of issues or flaws our parents have seen elsewhere, including having everything on one level and people not climbing stairs as well as having a venue with higher standards to make kids feel their best."

"There is a real family environment here, and we literally laugh and cry together every day," (Naperville North's Axel Hage) said. "I've done about nine shows so far, and the things I've learned are to live in the moment — the support system here is bigger than I could imagine — and you need to perform each time like it's your last."

The Daily Herald Features Clash of the Sequins (Again!)

It was awesome to have the Daily Herald feature Clash of the Sequins in the Sunday paper!



Naperville North High School show choirs sponsored their annual show choir invitational, Clash of the Sequins, an all-day competition between ensembles from around the Midwest. Audiences at Clash of the Sequins got to see a variety of routines, performed enthusiastically and professionally.

"We make it big like a Beyoncé concert because these kids work so hard for this," Inglis said. "We want to give them a really special experience. We also want to do something that's going to draw people back to Naperville, which is a very special place. So far, so good."


Very exciting to have this feature on Clash of the Sequins!



High heels and sequined gowns at the ready, Akira Kennedy is eager to join her fellow show choir members in a friendly battle. About 16 show choir groups from throughout the Midwest will compete Saturday, Feb. 18, when Naperville North High School hosts the invitational Clash of the Sequins 2017.

"It's so rewarding," said Kennedy, a senior who has been in show choir since she was a freshman. "The people you meet and the connections you make bring you back every year."

Naperville North hosted its first Clash of the Sequins last year in the school's auditorium. Already the event has outgrown that venue, said Nick Janssen, director of vocal music and the instructional coordinator of the Fine Arts Department.

"This year it's in the field house. We can accommodate up to 4,000 people," he said.

Janssen said show choirs from Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois will be at the event, along with performers and volunteers from Naperville Central High School, the School of Performing Arts. and community theater and choir programs.

"We're not just providing them an education, we have to provide them an experience," he said of his students. "These kids work so hard. I want them to walk onto that stage and feel like they are Beyoncé for the day."

"Nick is big on giving kids leadership. He forces them to get out of their comfort zone," (Event Chair Anita Mraz) said. "He does an amazing job of creating a safe environment for the kids."


So cool to have the Naperville Sun feature Clash of the Sequins!


"Events like this are an opportunity for students to compete and to receive feedback, but we really wanted to go above and beyond the competitive experience," said Nicholas Janssen, the high school's musical director and fine arts instructional coordinator. "We have put a lot of time and energy into the aesthetics of the event that will make you feel like you are at a superstar rock concert."

Read the full story here