More than 100 Center Grove High School (CGHS) students traveled to Nashville, performed at the historic Grand Ole Opry, and left as Grand Champions.

Jennifer Dice
Sound System director Jennifer Dice is celebrating her 18th year at Center Grove overseeing the choir program.

Under the direction of Jennifer Dice and Jared Norman, Sound System, the varsity mixed show choir performing “The Crown,” and Debtones, the varsity female show choir performing “Eve,” both took home additional awards, including Best Tech Crew and Best Visuals. Sound System was also named Show Choir of the Year by industry social media authority

Dice, Sound System director, is celebrating her 18th year at Center Grove overseeing the choir program. Under her leadership, CG Show Choirs have earned a staggering number of awards and championships. They are nationally recognized as consistently exceptional choirs, and outstanding in every category – music, vocals, choreography, technical, and imagery, just to name a few.

Aside from the awards at Show Choir Nationals, Sound System also got to experience a professional venue at the Opry.

cg show choir“Show Choir Nationals is always a hotbed for some of the best show choir programs from across the country,” Dice said. “I think for me, the best part of the experience for the students is that when they exit the stage, they feel so great about their performance because it’s a performance that they have not had before, with a level of professionalism that they don’t get in a regular high school auditorium.”

Norman, Debtones director, agreed that witnessing the performers’ feeling of pride is a reward in itself.

“With awards it’s that anxiety and anticipation, but then it’s instant pride and joy for the girls,” Norman said. “They work extremely hard all year long for this competition show, and for them to receive these awards on the Grand Ole Opry stage is hopefully a memory they’ll hold onto and cherish.”

Norman is in his 12th year as Debtones director and is an alum of Sound System. After graduating from DePauw University, he returned to Center Grove schools to guide the next generation.

“I just love the Center Grove community,” he said. “I loved the program that I grew up in. It was always a program that I wanted to come back to and impart my passion for music, choir and dancing to my potential students.”

Dice is quick to give credit to other teams rounding out the choir department. Notable among them is Greg Sanders. Sanders is their pianist, music arranger, band director and third choral director, holding a Master of Choral Conducting degree from Butler University. He is also the vocal director for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and director of the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus.

“To say that Greg Sanders is in demand in the Indianapolis music scene is an understatement,” Dice said. “Having him as the third part of our team is such a blessing. His talents are what help to make our students so successful.”

Dice also sung the praises of the tech team.

cg show choir“We have a crew of parent volunteers who are absolutely amazing,” Dice said. “They communicate with host high schools and work to ensure that our set can be assembled and moved in a safe and efficient manner. The lead parents are Kerry and Amy Williams, and Brent Lollar. In addition, Greg Rainbolt is our semi driver and has done so for the past 15 years. Miles Hall and Austin Teike are the final pieces to the tech puzzle. Miles handles all sound equipment. He makes sure it is correctly set up for all home shows and competitions, and then mixes the band during our competition shows. Austin Teike, also a CGHS alum, runs our video boards during the competition season.”

The costume team and hair moms are integral to the program – so much so, you’ll read about them separately in this issue.

The Center Grove Choir Parent Organization (CGCPO) Executive Board, in Dice’s words, consists of the folks who make it all happen.

“Our budget relies heavily on them, as our fees are the lowest of any group like ours in this area,” Dice said. “They are committed to providing the students with an exceptional experience in music education by supporting our program’s vision through fundraising, volunteerism and advocacy.”

Students involved in show choir have rehearsals both during the school day and outside of class. The choirs put on four different shows for the community throughout the year, and show choir competition season begins in December.

“In math or science class, you have building blocks and you have to go step by step through the process,” Dice said. “We treat our curriculum the same way. We don’t just start with a competition show. We want the students to gain confidence, skills and technique over the course of the year.”

“We strive to give each one of our students excellent opportunities in music education,” Norman said. “They work really hard all year, but I think they take a lot of pride and joy, not only when we come out as victors in a competition set, but in every show that they do. They know that the things that we’re doing at the fall show are the building blocks that will make us a great competitive choir.”

Next year, students in the Debtones and Sound System will be able to earn a physical education credit for their involvement in show choir. Dice and Norman encourage the performers to exercise and build stamina to prepare for the 20-minute competition shows.

Cameron Peters, a junior in Sound System, said participating in show choir has taught him how to make friends with people who are different from him.


“For the past three years I’ve gotten to see how a true show choir group should interact and how they can depend on one another,” he said. “I’ve never been more grateful to find friends who can show their hidden talent and be themselves in front of an audience. That’s what makes this program unique, because no one has a problem with it. I think it can also help our audiences work through social differences and real-world challenges of being kind to others.”

Cameron’s mom, Nicole, said she’s not only amazed by the talent throughout all of Center Grove’s choral programs, but also by seeing the happiness each student shows on stage.

“Beyond the talent, the pure joy that these students radiate on stage is what blows me away,” she said. “You can tell they are truly happy in their element. We are beyond happy Cameron has had an opportunity to work with Directors Mrs. Dice, Mr. Norman and Mr. Sanders. They are creative geniuses. We are forever thankful Cameron has had an opportunity to be himself and make lifelong friendships doing what he loves – performing.”

2023 graduate and Sound System alum Carys Habig reflected on her experience and how it continues to impact her beyond high school.

“Being under the direction of Jared Norman, Jenn Dice and Greg Sanders has been a meaningful experience,” she said. “I didn’t anticipate how much I’d learn from show choir to use beyond high school, but it’s taught me how to intermix discipline and fun. They hold you to a very high standard. Achieving the goals we worked towards makes for some of my best high school memories.”

Sound System went undefeated in this year’s competitions, beating other schools from Indiana, California, Ohio, Illinois and across the country. Dice said her seniors help motivate other choir members to work hard and also let loose when the moment is right.

“The thing that I think I will remember about this group more than anything else is that every time they won a competition, they were genuinely surprised and genuinely humble about winning,” Dice said. “We teach them

confidence, but at the end of the day we tell them that we’re talking about groups that are essentially the same, and you’re asking a judge for their opinion about what it is that you’re putting on stage. They also know that the opinions of people who are giving the scores, while important, are not as important as the student’s personal feeling when it comes to answering the questions of, ‘How do you feel about what you’re doing? Are you giving 100%? Do you love your show?’”

Center Grove’s choral programs will perform their Spring Spectacular May 1 through 3. Seventh- and eighth-grade students have the opportunity to participate in a show choir experience called Sound FX. They perform with the high school during Noel and Spring Spectacular to get a preview of what the high school program is like. Elementary and middle school students can also join CGHS choirs each summer in Show Choir Boot Camp Jr., which is the week of Memorial Day each year.

To learn more and get updates on upcoming performances, visit

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