Digital Exclusive: Bishop Heelan make changes to this year’s Crusader Classic

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A local high school show choir invitational is having to make some changes due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

Bishop Heelan’s annual Crusader Classic sometimes brings in schools from around the country to compete, but this year’s event is different.

“So, the big difference is the competition aspect. Because it’s so hard for all the factors to make it fair for every group this year because some schools have been virtual and hybrid and have not seen their groups. So, this year we decided we’ll meet groups where they are and do a clinic,” said Gage Fenton, vocal director.

Gage Fenton, a vocal director at Bishop Heelan, said the clinic will take away the big crowds, which normally fills up the gym with thousands of people.

Each group will come in for an hour to perform in front of the judges and have 20 to 30 minutes to be critiqued to improve their show.

“Most invitationals are not happening; we’re the only one in this area that’s doing an invitational. So, I’m happy that we’re able to give the surrounding schools an opportunity to perform other than their own space,” said Fenton.

This year, Bishop Heelan has four seniors in the show choir program that will be performing in their last Crusader Classic.

“It’s really fun because as you’re on stage, you get the energy from the crowd. So, the harder you push to perform, the more the crowd enjoys it. It makes it so much more special because you’re surrounded by your friends,” Maya Bishwokarma, a senior at Bishop Heelan.

Maya Bishwokarma, a senior at Bishop Heelan, said she’s disappointed that they can’t have the full invitational this year but is grateful to have something happen.

The high school will allow the performers to have four guests attend and have them wear face masks while performing onstage.

“So, it makes us work harder and become a better show choir too and actually help others feel the same way that we’re feeling when they can see only eyes and eyebrows moving,” said Bishwokarma.

Fenton mentions the invitational is Bishop Heelan’s biggest music event of the year and a big fundraiser for the high school.

“It will be less crazy than normal but still crazy, I’m sure, because we have two different centers where buses will be pulling up and dropping kids off and leaving at different exits to make sure that we’re not crossing groups,” said Gage Fenton, vocal director.

No matter what changes are made to the invitational, the music will still bring people together inside of Heelan’s Fieldhouse.

“The Crusader Classic shows that community of people, even though we’re not physically able to be together. The music still connects us to everyone around us,” said Maya Bishwokarma, a senior at Bishop Heelan.

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