Cyber ShowChoir: SCA’s Virtual Summer Camp



2020 has been an interesting year so far, full of unexpected changes and emotionally  charged conversations. In unprecedented times such as these, many people are eager and hungry for a sense of community, normalcy, and positivity.

SCA Camp Directors, Sue Moninger and Dwight Jordan, will be celebrating four decades of working together to make Show Choir Camps of America a dream come true for young show choir performers and instructors.

This year, the directors, counselors, instructors, and guest speakers are working together to make the 2020 camp just as special and encouraging for the students as they have the 39 years prior.

The Spirit of SCA

SCA is an annual event where the best of the best in musical education, choreography, and show choir come together to celebrate a love of music, performance, and connectivity.

In the past, students learn and rehearse three songs, attend various workshops, and pull together an entire production in one week. Best of all, at the end of camp, there is a glorious showcase where the students perform the numbers they have spent days busting their buns to master.

How Will this Year Be Different?

Jordan and Moninger have constructed a plan for 2020 that will honor the essence and traditions of previous camps as best as possible. Both directors were clear in their mission to provide everyone involved with the same steadfast sense of community that has permeated previous Summers.

Since SCA attracts students from all over the country, for many returning students, SCA is the only opportunity during the year when they can see their close camp buddies. The nature of camp lays down fertile soil for camaraderie, as everyone works together to learn routines, support one another, and perform.

For the directors, even though camp will be conducted virtually, they still want to encourage the social angle of camp.

Instead of SCA being a sleepover experience, campers will stay home, social distancing, and attend rehearsals, workshops, small groups, and so on from the comfort of their own living rooms. These smaller “break out” groups are designed to mirror the small groups campers have grown accustomed to in years past.

Additionally, students will learn four different songs, taught by four different choreographers and five different vocal directors. As Moninger explained, in previous camps, the students would be divided into groups, and each group would be assigned 1-2 instructors; this year, all students will have the opportunity to work with all the teachers.

Tried and True Traditions

As in previous years, the afternoons will be filled with workshops, and the evenings will be bustling with performances. The workshops will cover a medley of topics, where students and teachers can choose which ones they wish to participate in.

The Student Talent Showcase is a mainstay of SCA—this year will be no different. Students are encouraged to submit videos of their original performances, and the top 16-20 students will show off their best musical and dancing abilities in the talent show.

This opportunity grants students with the top talent the possibility of receiving a scholarship from either Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois and/or Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio.

Just as in years past, the main goal of camp—in addition to providing students with excellent resources and a platform to improve their craft—is simply to have fun. SCA is such a bright spot of the year for many young adults and instructors, the camp directors want to ensure the prominent feelings of camp are light and joyful.

Many of us know the uplifting power that music and community can provide; this is why SCA is doing everything within its power to be a safe haven for its participants this year and every year.

Finally, Jordan has quite the reputation of filling camp with surprises that will delight the campers, and he has no plans of falling short this year! He voiced just how excited he is to bring a little mystery and a lot of love to SCA again this year. He is a master of surprises, and has cooked up some big things for this virtual camp.

Workshops and Insights

Directors Moninger and Jordan, prior to camp, reached out to the clinicians and teachers, asking them “What do you most need right now?”

They want to provide quality, topical workshops; of course, instructors are concerned about both current needs and what the new school year may look like for show choir. After hearing the concerns of the teachers, the directors compiled a series of workshops dedicated to meeting their needs.

Some examples of star guest speakers include Dr. Eugene Rogers, Dr. Anne Marie Roepke, and Dr. Derrick Fox. Dr. Rogers, who has an extensive background in both choral direction and diversity initiatives, will be leading a class called “Fostering Empathy and Critical Disclosure in the Choral Classroom.”

Dr. Roepke will be speaking on “Psychological Resilience in America,” where she will be teaching skills in coping, connectivity, and how to stay motivated, even in trying times. Additionally, Dr. Fox will lead a workshop on “Future Teaching Practices,” where he will be going over how to keep the musical community strong, even if we must sing separately for a while. For a full list of workshops and the presenters’ bios, please visit the Show Choir Camps of America Facebook page.

Other workshops for students are a little lighter in nature, such as an exploration in how to best utilize TikTok for performances, as well as classes on genres such as hip hop, gospel, opera, and Broadway; having classes like these show how committed SCA is to keeping up with the trends of the time, and keeping camp fun for the students, no matter their niche.

Attending Camp

Without a doubt, SCA 2020 will be a unique, fun, and exciting experience. The directors have the same energy and passion for SCA’s campers and clinicians as they always have.

In fact, every year, they bring a fresh twist to camp, and this year will be no different. And, now more than ever, the pure positivity SCA focuses on is the ideal outlet for anyone in the show choir world.

About the Author
Cassidy Clevenger is a Samford University alum. She just completed her MSW in Social Work, with an emphasis on Counseling, at Samford University, while also working as a staff writer for Flaherty Media.