CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Robert C. Byrd High School’s “Vocal intensity” (VI) brought home a state title on March 25 after competing at the West Virginia State Show Choir Festival.

The performers were awarded as Division B State Champions and placed second overall behind Hurricane High School’s “Red Hot.” Other awards they received included “best male soloist,” which was given to Robbie Mendez, and “best performer,” which was given to Peyton Smith.

An action shot of Vocal Intensity performing at the State Festival. (Courtesy: Peyton Smith)

During the State Festival, the weather knocked the power out, which made everyone question if the competition could even continue. However, Hurricane’s show choir director, Joseph Kincaid, worked around the power outage and was quick to set up lights, as well as connect the microphones to a generator. Overall, the schools continued to perform in the dark despite the power being out. Peyton Smith, a VI senior performer, said, “It was a cool experience.”

Vocal Intensity’s show is a tribute to Dolly Parton which is titled, “I beg your Parton.” The list of songs performed in order consist of:

  • Coat of Many Colors
  • 9 to 5
  • I Will Always Love You
  • Islands in the Stream
  • Fool for Your Love/Jolene
  • Dump the Dude

When asked by a 12 News reporter why show choir is important to have for students, Smith said, “It’s good to be a part of something, especially something that like teaches you how to be competitive but also be a part of a family.”

Kaliyah Hairston, another senior performer, told 12 News that VI is her family away from her blood family. She joined show choir her sophomore year and said that it feels amazing to end her senior year with a state win. “Last year, it was really really rough for the team as a whole but, we still like —feel like it brought us closer together. But this year, like knowing we’re state champs, and knowing that we have a title, which is the only title at Byrd right now, it feels really really good.”

Hairston was the female soloist in the song, “Dump the Dude.” She felt that her solo fits her because she is the type of person to say if somebody is not treating you right, just dump the dude! Hairston said, “if you know me in real life, you know that is very much something I would tell you to do.”

Students can still try out for RCB Vocal Intensity by talking to Director Mady McNemar. Hairston and Smith highly recommended for students to join, and to not be scared to try out!

If interested in seeing VI’s last performance of its Dolly Parton show, you can find them performing at Grafton High School at 2 p.m. on April 1. You can also find the full show from February 4, when they competed in finals at the 2023 Red Hot Show Choir Championship, at this link (skip to 2:19:18).

Quite a few of the members from VI will also be performing in the upcoming production of “Mean Girls,” which will be available to watch on April 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. and April 30 at 2 p.m. located at RCB High School.