Backbone of Success

Ashley Sattler and Emma Shimak

“Give me a C-O-M-B-O! What’s that spell?” This is cheered by Xavier show choir fans in support of the band before every performance. Combo is the band of instrumentalists that play behind the show choir. This is one of the many components that makes a show choir what it is. Without this group, the performers on stage would not have the backbone they need to be considered a show choir. The Xavier Combo has a total of 15 auditioned musicians for the 2022 season. While the show choir members begin practicing in August, ombo’s season starts around late November. The varsity group, Xhilaration, and junior varsity group, Xuberance, combos practice on Monday and Tuesday nights separately. Once they feel confident in the music, the combo joins the performers in practicing from 6:00-9:00 p.m. It is common for students to participate in show choir for a varsity or junior varsity group and combo for the other group. Sophomore trumpet player, Sophia Kepros, decided to join Xhilaration’s combo this year while also being a member of Xuberance. “It’s really cool to have the best of both worlds! I really enjoy show choir and have been doing it for a long time, so I liked using my other musical talent to contribute to show choir this year,” Kepros said. “It was also fun to get to hang out with all of the show choir kids, in both Xhil and Xub!” A popular aspect across all Xavier Show Choirs is the multitude of traditions. These groups spend many hours working together and tend to become very tight-knit. Sophomore trombone player, Noah Upah, finds this to be one of his favorite aspects of being in combo. “I think my favorite tradition is one that we just started. We made a banana our mascot and dressed up like one for the Xtravaganza performance and final show,” Upah said. “I hope this tradition catches on and continues in the future. I absolutely love the sense of community surrounding this small but mighty group.”  In the February 12 Benton High School competition,the show choirs were awarded “Most creative use of band,” “Best band in 4A” and “Best band overall.” A Xavier trumpet player wanted to add an excerpt of John Williams’ “Duel of The Fates” from the Star Warssaga to Xhilaration’s first song because they sounded similar. Mr. Schroetter, Xhilaration Director and Choir Director, agreed to this and added the tuba to this section as well. These two aspects gave a deeper sound to the beginning and helped give it more of a dystopian feeling. While awards are an important part of Show Choir competitions, many Xavier Combo members return every season for something much more important to them: community.