Choir Earns Top Honors
The Lower School Choir received high marks at Saturday's Music in the Parks Festival.
The Lower School Choir earned top honors Saturday in the Music in the Parks Festival held at Busch Gardens. The choir, made up of 50 third and fourth graders, sang in the morning at Passage Middle School in Newport News and then headed to Busch Gardens for a fun afternoon in the park.
The day concluded with an awards ceremony at Busch Gardens for all festival participants. St. Catherine's earned a rating of Superior, first place trophy and also earned the Best Overall Elementary School Choir trophy. More than 20 schools participated and the LS Choir was one of only four choirs, out of a total of 26, that earned a superior rating.
“I am beyond proud of these girls,” choir director Rebecca Merrick said. “All year long they have been such a strong group. I was so excited for them to have the opportunity to participate in this festival and share their voices and their spirit with the greater community.”
The judges praised the choir's sound and appearance, including tone, uniformity of vowels, expression, dynamics and balance.
They sang two adjudicated selections: "Red Dragonflies," an arrangement of a beautiful Japanese song that included both English and Japanese text, and a challenging two-part arrangement of the rousing African American spiritual "I've Got Shoes". The judges noted that the repertoire was challenging for a beginning choir, but that the girls rose to the challenge and gave a strong performance.
One of the judges wrote at the bottom of the adjudication form: "Awesome job! Thank you for singing- you made my day!"
The same judge said the following: "You know what I really love is looking up there and seeing those beautiful smiling faces... your attention is 100% on your director. She must be smiling big because I see all of you smiling. That is so, so awesome."