Keeper of the Plans

Award-winning Wichita vocal group disbands shortly after championship win

ICT Flight Showchoir was one of the Wichita area’s best-kept musical secrets – even as the vocal group increasingly found regional success.

Top high school-aged performers from around the city auditioned for the show choir, which was in essence Wichita’s version of “Glee.”

For the past five years, the group competed in the national show choir circuit and became known for its high-energy performances and kind performers.

Last weekend, the group won its first-ever Grand Championship at a competition in Iowa — at which three individual Flight performers also won individual awards.

But because of “financial, time and logistical challenges,” Flight will no longer be competing as a show choir after this season, the group announced on Facebook.

At a farewell show this week, choir leadership said the group “has struggled to break even financially and has experienced many other logistical challenges.”

The choir often had to travel more than six hours to compete around the region.

The organization will continue to offer a summer camp and show choir master classes, but it will no longer have an active ensemble.

Kristina Sims, the group’s director, told audiences at the group’s farewell show to continue to support the arts in Wichita, as well as Flight as it turns “the page into our next chapter.”

“Wichita is amazing at the fine arts — we have so many opportunities here that most kids don’t get,” she said. “When Flight came to town we wanted to give (kids) something a little bit different, and we were able to accomplish that in a really, really cool and special way.”

The choir provided a theatrical experience, where the singers had choreographed dance routines for every song. It was a self-sustained unit, featuring teens that provided the accompaniment for the singers on piano, drums, guitar, bass and brass.

Its music was all custom-arranged and choreographed.

Most show choir programs across the country are associated with specific high schools, making ICT Flight relatively unique in that it was a community-wide ensemble.

For more information on ICT Flight Showchoir, visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ICTFlight.

Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.
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