The Nelson County High School Show Choir won first place this past weekend at the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

The show choir received the highest score out of 15 vocal groups at the April 26 competition. The show choir placed first overall in the show choir category. Hunter Woodson, an 18-year-old senior who has been involved with show choir for three years, said the choir has been rehearsing every day since January.

“We got 97 out of 100, which is the highest score out of all the vocal groups,” Woodson said.

Scott Belcher, the band and choir teacher, said the goal was to be awarded a “superior” score, but they never expected to score that high.

“It is pretty special to get that kind of score,” Belcher said.

The show choir performed an arrangement of 80s dance music and included songs from artists like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Journey among others. Belcher said they were the only vocal group with live music.

The group of 31 kids left bright and early April 26 and returned home to Nelson late April 28.

Belcher said he enjoyed the weekend overall, especially the competition and zip-lining with the students. Belcher said it was also really great to meet Kirby Shaw, one of the best-known arrangers of show choir music. Shaw presented Belcher the first place trophy.

“It was an eventful and fun-filled trip,” Belcher said.

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