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An 'adventure' with the arts

Members of Friend de Coup perform their community show on Thursday night at the Mitchell School District Performing Arts Center. This year's theme for FDC's competitive show is Daring Greatly. (Matt Gade / Republic) 1 / 2
A group of third through sixth-graders perform with members of Friend de Coup prior to FDC's community show. (Matt Gade / Republic) 2 / 2

Friend de Coup is still doing what it does best: sing and dance.

This year, the Mitchell High School show choir is taking audiences on an adventure with their performance. The award-winning group wowed the crowd as it performed its competitive show — themed Daring Greatly — for the first time on Thursday during the annual community show at the Mitchell School District Performing Arts Center (PAC). "It's kind of about an adventure that you go on, the literal adventure in the show is something you can see very clearly when you watch it," said Jen Randall, director of Friend de Coup. "Life in general there's peaks and valleys, high points and lower points in everybody's life."


This year's show choir features 50 singers and dancers, a 12-person pit band and six tech crew members and all of them were more than ready to put on a show, Randall said.

The choreography was again completed by Stephen Todd, a Mitchell native. And in her nearly decade working with Todd, Randall said this year he's really "outdone himself" with the choreography for Friend de Coup.

"Everything he's done is great, but this is really special choreographing," Randall said, adding that the music is also top-notch. "I love the way kids are singing the music, it's appropriate to each style. It's very diverse which is cool and we're really happy with how it's turning out."

The show choir kicks off its competitive season next weekend in Omaha, Nebraska for the Millard West "Music Speaks" competition. But what Randall and her students are looking forward to is the Troy Invitational on Feb. 10 in Troy, Missouri. Not only will they explore St. Louis, the invitational will be the largest invite Friend de Coup attends, and they're all "pretty pumped."

On March 17, the show choir will host its annual Mitchell Show Choir Classic, expanding the normally one-day event to two days for the large amount of groups signed up.

The show choir season will come to an end on April 7 when Friend de Coup defends their state title at the South Dakota State Show Choir competition, which will be held in Mitchell at the PAC.

"The kids are really enjoying it," Randall said, "And that's most important part is that the kids are having a great time and the audience loves it."