Tallassee hosts Capital City Classic at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center

Cliff Williams / The Tallassee Tribune

The 14th annual Capital City Classic show choir competition hosted by the Tallassee High School choral department returns next week.

The annual show returns to the Montgomery Performing Arts Center Jan. 27-28 and is just as big as ever.

“Over 40 schools from around the Southeast will be in attendance, including Opelika, Homewood, Eufaula, Hoover, Saraland, Pike Road, Vestavia Hills, Auburn and many more,” Tallassee High School music teacher Michael Bird said. “There are also choirs from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia participating in this event.” 

The Capital City Classic was created by former Tallassee High School music teacher Jerry Cunningham in 2009 after Tallassee would travel to places across the Southeast for its show choirs to compete.

Tallassee High School only has about 500 students enrolled, but Bird said more than 200 students are involved in the school’s choral program with students participating in three show choirs, a chamber choir, a concert choir and men’s and women’s choirs.

“We are one of the smallest schools that participate in show choir competitions,” Bird said. “Everywhere we go, we are up against the Homewoods and Hoovers and Vestavias of the world, schools with 2,000 or 3,000 students. It’s like Tallassee having to compete in class 7A against much larger schools with greater resources.”

Bird credits others for laying the foundation of the choir programs at Tallassee High School. It started with the band programs that have evolved into the Pride of Tallassee and the choral program started to flourish when Jerry Cunningham got involved.

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“25 years ago, Mr. Cunningham left a job at a much larger school with a lot more prestige to return to his alma mater and start this program back up again,” Baird said. “In his first year, he developed a show choir, which has now expanded to three groups that compete all over the state and region each year.”

The three show choirs at Tallassee are: 

• Voltage, which is a hand-selected group of 29 students who compete in the Mixed Show Choir division for choirs with boys and girls.

• Divas, which is an auditioned all-female group that competes in the Unisex Division.

• The unauditioned Gold Edition, the longest-running all-male show choir in the Southeast comprised of male students from all areas of the school. 

The competition starts Friday, Jan. 27 at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center in downtown Montgomery. Divas will give an exhibition performance at 10 p.m. Voltage will give an exhibition performance at 12:45 p.m.  Saturday, Jan. 28 and will be followed by Tallassee’s Gold Edition in exhibition.


Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc. He may be reached via email at cliff.williams@alexcityoutlook.com.