West Side Delegation Prepares for National Competition

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By Max Walker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A little more than half of the members of the West Side Delegation show choir from Jefferson High School will leave early Friday morning for the national FAME competition in Chicago.

Savaun Bound, one of the students preparing to leave, says only having half of the group created some problems. "The struggle has been to re-block the whole show because we had to get people some new spots."

Their trip to compete against groups from around the country caused some controversy. Last month, when the group returned from qualifying at a similar event in Orlando, Jefferson Principal Charles McDonnell denied the group's request to head to nationals.

McDonnell said there were too many other activities going on this weekend, including the Drake Relays, academic decathlon, and prom. That prompted backlash from parents and singers upset that they could not continue competing.

A few days later, district superintendent Dave Benson stepped in and left the decision up to West Side Delegation director Kent Keating, who decided to make the trip with the smaller group two weeks ago.

The denial and then approval pulled singer Shannon Carberry back and forth. "It was a little unfortunate to not be able to go, so obviously we fought to be able to go. When we found out we could go, it was, 'Oh my gosh. We have three weeks to put our show together.' But I'm really glad that we did it."

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