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."