Instrumental music and choral groups win awards during Chicago trip

April 17, 2005, midnight | By Emma Zachurski | 19 years, 2 months ago

Blair ensembles participate in Heritages Festival

Blair's music department received a total of five honorary plaques and three trophies for their performances in the Heritages Festival in Chicago, Illinois. The participating groups from Blair in this festival were the Honors Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, String Orchestra, and the Chamber and Blazer Choirs.

The groups' performances were a part of a school-organized field trip to Chicago, which students left for on the evening of Thursday, April 7 and returned from on Monday, April 11. The Heritages Festival took place on Saturday, April 9. During the festival, school ensembles from many U.S. schools performed in front of three judges, who scored each performance on a scale of 0-100.

Blair's Symphonic Band, String Orchestra, Chamber and Blazer Choirs earned silver plaques for judges' scores ranging in the 80s. According to instrumental director Dustin Doyle, the Symphonic Band earned an average score of 89, the String Orchestra an 85. The Honors Jazz Band earned a gold plaque for their average score of 95. According to choir teacher Paul Newport, the choral groups earned two silver plaques, for the Blazer Choir's approximate average score of between 82 and 83 and the Chamber Choir's average score of between 88 and 89.

Three trophies were also awarded to Blair's music department. These trophies consisted of a special judge's award for the overall Blair music program, a trophy for the Honors Jazz Band in honor of earning the highest score of all the ensemble performances at the festival and a trophy for both the Honors Jazz Band and Symphonic Band for having a combined score that was the closest to 200 out of all the performing instrumental groups.

Doyle and Newport both found the results of their ensembles' suitable. "All the groups have been working really hard all year," said Doyle. Both also had some problems with the festival's results though. When comparing this festival with a similar event both choirs won high honors in last year, Newport said that the groups performed just as well this year but did not receive as much praise.

Doyle also expressed some concerns, explaining that "The Orchestra [was] hurt by numbers; Many people didn't come [on the trip]" and that the Symphonic Band's judges were "Saying the same things but [giving] different scores," which made the group's overall average "a little off."

Despite these issues, both Newport and Doyle felt that the trip was a success. "The students really made the weekend with their performances, behavior, cooperation and spirit of adventure," said Newport. Newport and Doyle are also considering organizing a similar trip and participating in more festivals such as the Heritages Festival in the future. "It's not guaranteed we'll go every year, but we anticipate traveling again," said Doyle.

Emma Zachurski. Emma has lead a bohemian lifestyle ever since her birth to an eccentric pair of a journalist and an artist. She is now currently a senior and looks forward to another great year with Silver Chips Online! Her spare time is best spent listening to … More »

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