Bishop Luers is proud to be the place where high school swing choir competitions began more than 40 years ago…
In January of 1975 the Minstrels, the swing choir at Bishop Luers High School, conceived the idea of organizing and hosting a swing choir contest. The Minstrels felt they and other young groups might learn and benefit by observing some of the area’s most distinguished choirs performing in an open competition. They felt it would help stimulate a wider interest in and appreciation for swing choirs by making it possible for many groups to perform the same day before large audiences.
In less than two months, judges were contacted, rules were established and trophies acquired. Seven fine swing choirs were invited to perform. The idea worked so well that the following year fifteen high school groups were invited to the contest.
By 1979, twenty swing choirs from around the Midwest accepted the challenge of coming to Fort Wayne to compete for trophies and medals. That year, more than 600 students and 1,500 parents attended the contest.
The local PBS station broadcasted the early years of the competition, and in 1983, the program aired on PBS stations around the country. That led to international exposure and growth in swing choir competitions around the country.
The yearly invitation to participate in the Bishop Luers High School Annual Show Choir Invitational is mailed to over 250 show choirs throughout the country, and appears on Show Choir websites. Show choirs then register and are accepted on a first come, first serve basis for the Invitational. Welcome packets are mailed and another Invitational is under way!
In 1994, the 20th anniversary was marked with a special swing choir directed by the founder, Father Fred Link. In 2004, the 30th anniversary Bishop Luers Show Choir Invitational marked another milestone in Minstrel history. Father Fred returned to welcome 18 choirs and a large group of Minstrel alumni who gathered to celebrate this outstanding accomplishment. To mark our 40th anniversary, Fr. Fred Link will return to judge and we have invited all our past Grand Champions to compete on this grand day.
Middle School Competition
Friday, March 7, 2014
Come and see the premiere middle school completion.
Bishop Luers High School is honored to host six local middle schools to our competition
Time: 6 PM, Tickets: $5
High School Competition
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Bishop Luers High School, host of the longest running show choir competition in the nation, will welcome show choirs from 19 high schools to its 40th annual competition on March 8. Some of the most talented high school singers and dancers in the region will provide spectacular entertainment throughout the day and night. Day competition begins at 8AM and runs until 7 PM; the evening competition begins at 8 PM. Tickets are sold at the door $10/day show, $10/evening show, $15/all day.