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JH and HS choir along with ensemble will all be performing at the Heritage Festival, March 30-April 2.

Choral groups compete for Gold rating

The junior high, concert choir, and ensemble will all be attending the Worldstrides Heritage Festival in Anaheim, March 30-April 2. Along with making a trip to the music festival, students will also be spending time in Disneyland.

Celeste Counts, ‘18, is excited for the performance and the songs. She enjoys the overall theme of the ensemble’s songs this year.

“The thing I’m looking forward to the most for Heritage would have to be the award ceremony that’s held in Disneyland,” Counts said. “Our repertoire for ensemble is very different and in your face this year, but if I had to pick a favorite it would have to be ‘Ain’t No Grave’. Singing that song is almost like a running a marathon and each section is different from the one before it. I’m glad Mrs. Ainley picked it because it’s pushed our group to be better and demand more from ourselves.”

Choral director Susan Ainley also looks forward to the Heritage Festival.

“Festival season is exciting for choir students and directors because the months of diligent practice and refinement of their music is over,” Ainley said. “Now is the time we can show adjudicators and audiences our beautiful music. 

“Festival season is exciting for choir students and directors because the months of diligent practice and refinement of their music is over,” Ainley continued. “Now is the time we can show adjudicators and audiences our beautiful music.

“All choirs are ready to present their repertoire, a set of songs of different eras and genres of music,” Ainley said. “Usually, a director will pick a song in a foreign language, a folk song, and a spiritual or another song that packs a big punch.”  

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Last year the women’s ensemble was able to travel to NYC to sing at Carnegie Hall after receiving a Gold rating at the Heritage Festival.

The HS choir will follow this pattern, singing ‘Dona Nobis Pacem’ (Grant us Peace),  ‘Ritmo’, a rhythmic song in Spanish with choreographed clapping, and ‘Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel’. 

Ainley enjoys attending the festival because of the challenge that it presents to all of the choirs. Her goal is for the groups all achieve a Gold rating.

“The Heritage festival is a true competition,” Ainley said. “We sing with the goal of receiving a Gold rating, and possibly a ranking among all the choirs present. In addition, Heritage will give an invitation to choirs receiving a very high score to their “Heritage of Gold” festival for the next school year.”

FC Ensemble earned this award two years ago, which allowed them to sing in NYC at the prestigious Carnegie Hall.

For another article about the choral music department, read Choral music department bonds during retreat.

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