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The stage at the Ellen Kennedy Fine Arts Center was empty Saturday, Jan. 30 after the Sadie Street Showcase was canceled due to weather. Organizers are giving it another shot Feb. 6. The Anamosa show choir, the Sadie Street Singers, got their performance in Jan. 29. For photos, see A2.

Anamosa

The first attempt at the 2021 Sadie Street Showcase ended up being just that—a chance for the Sadie Street Singers to showcase themselves for the home crowd and nothing more.

In the age of COVID-19, where the virus has caused a multitude of activities to be canceled due to concerns about spreading the virus, it was Mother Nature that played spoiler here. Due to the impending inclement weather, the participants for the showcase had already been chopped from four to seven, and the Sadie Street Singers moved their performance to Friday, Jan. 29, the night before the showcase—their first performance of the year.

“To have our first performance be in front of our home crowd was a big relief considering all of the changes and complications this year has brought. It was a different pressure than having to compete for scores; we wanted to do well for our families, but we were also able to be loose and relaxed,” choir director Andrew Eley said.

Getting that first performance under their belt, complete with masks, was especially important this year with the changed brought about due to COVID challenges.

“This year has greatly impacted our preparations. During a normal year, we would have time during the week during our school-wide enrichment period to pull the students for additional rehearsals; this year, that didn't happen until very recently. Our usual rehearsal times are Monday nights, but we lost the entire month of November's rehearsals when the school district went completely virtual. We also lost a choreography session with our choreographer during that month,” Eley said.

“Given all of that, the students have worked harder than I have ever seen them work to prepare for our season, and I couldn't be more proud of them…We are fortunate to be able to compete this year, and I think I can speak for the students in saying we are very grateful for any chances to perform.”

A second shot will be taken at the showcase Feb. 6. once it was clear that weather was going to be an issue.

“All but one of the groups that were scheduled to perform in person today had their district activities cancelled due to the weather,” Sadie Street Showcase Co-Chair Sara Breitbach said. “As soon as we got word, Mr. Eley reached out to activities director, Mr. [Bret] Jones, who gave us the green light to try to reschedule for next Saturday.”

After getting that approval, Eley, Breitbach and Breitbach’s co-chair, Amy Wheeler, began trying to figure out if the Feb. 6 day was feasible. According to Breitbach, the same school groups that had been originally scheduled, the judges and most volunteers have been able to commit for the new date.

While some of the other details are still working on being confirmed, the delayed showcase will provide Anamosa’s choir a second chance to perform.

“We were very grateful the Sadie Street Singers were able to perform Friday night,” Breitbach said. “Their first performance of the year was excellent, and we are so proud of them all! We look forward to their second performance next week when the show band will be back in action.”

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