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Fundraise and build bridges with the Show Tune Showdown

Tone Cluster, an LGBTQ choir from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada was looking for a fundraising idea back in 2005 when its President at the time, Rob Bowman, brought a novel idea to the Board for its consideration. It was a musical theatre performance competition and game show called the Show Tune Showdown™.

What is the Show Tune Showdown™?

Show Tune Showdown™ (STS) is a unique blend of friendly competitive performance rounds along with Broadway-themed musical trivia rounds. Three teams representing different arts organizations sing a selection of Broadway or off-Broadway show tunes in front of three local celebrity judges. But things get even more entertaining when the teams are challenged even further to get additional points in the Showdown rounds, where the team that guesses a song from trivia clues has to sing it with no rehearsal. If no team guesses the song, then it is the audience’s turn as the lucky guesser sings a song on the spot and give the points to their favourite team. With an opening number by the host choir and a closing audience sing-along, it all adds up to one unforgettable evening.

After twelve years, Tone Cluster’s annual editions of STS have raised thousands of dollars, engaged the local arts community, involved many local celebrities and helped to raise awareness of its choir in the broader community. Versions of STS have been held not only in Ottawa but also in Minneapolis, New York City and at the 2016 GALA Festival in Denver with more cities planned.

How does my choir host a version of STS?

Any choir that wants to host their edition of Show Tune Showdown would do so subject to a license agreement signed by the host choir in order to use the name and copyrighted production materials. Instead of paying a license fee to the STS concept originator, the choir must provide proof that it has made a donation in their choir’s name to GALA Choruses for U.S. choirs, jn Canada to the UNISON Festival, and in Europe to Various Voices. The donation amount is $ 25 for choruses with 24 singers or less and $40 for choirs with more than 24 singers. Access to a guidebook including tips on how to produce your own Show Tune Showdown, poster template, sample formats, varying show components, and other information is included.

As indicated, the license agreement and the donation paid are for the right to use the name and the copyrighted production materials. As part of the production costs, the host chorus would be responsible for paying to the rights holders any fees associated with securing performance rights to any songs that are used or performed in their edition of STS as well as all other production expenses.

To learn more about Show Tune Showdown and explore the possibility of your chorus hosting STS in your city, contact the STS concept originator directly Rob Bowman at