Superior Choirs Take on Grand Junction

Aliya Getchell, Reporter

Members of Eaglecrest choir recently went to Grand Junction to compete in the Colorado West Invitational Festival. They left Thursday, April 25, and came back April 27. Madrigals, the top choir, and Cantare participated along with the top Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble. (See our story on page 2 highlighting the band community!) Placing at these festivals is dependant on a 5 scale grading system. A 5 is the worst you can do while a 1 is the best. The placings are as follows: superior, excellent, good, merit, and festival. These ratings are based on a number of points out of 100 that factor in things such as voice quality, pitch, appearance, and rhythm. To earn a 1, or a superior, you must receive 90-100 points. Cantare and Madrigals ranked superior from all of the judges they performed for. This is not only an amazing accomplishment, but a wonderful way to end the year.

Madrigals performed 3 songs: “Peze Safe”, “Dance for Love”, and “City Called Heaven”. Cantare also performed 3 songs: “Still I Rise”, “Johnny Said NO”, and “Dies Irae”. Julie Williams, the choir director, commented that she chose these songs because “The groups sing these pieces well and [the songs] represent different genres of choral literature.” Having a wide range of literature and performing advanced literature is one of the categories groups get judged on. Claire Hendrick’s, a junior in Madrigals, comments, “I loved our gospel piece that we just learned for this concert, ‘City Called Heaven’. Our soloists were amazing and it was just so powerful!” Some songs were prepared just for the festival while others were taken from past concerts.

Festivals are important to go to because performers receive critiques and clinics with trained professionals. Williams states, “The singers have the rare opportunity to sing for clinicians that work with things that they feel need extra attention immediately after their performance.” This workshop is an amazing experience as clinicians can range from choir directors at universities to professional choral members. On the less technical side of things, festivals are also great bonding experiences for members of a choir. Caylee Chatterley adds, “I think it is important to experience festivals like this because it’s not only fun to compete, but it’s nice to go with a group of people on a trip that normally you wouldn’t hang out with and be able to create new memories.”

The choir community is overjoyed to end the year on such a high note and are hopeful they will continue their success next year. Williams believes,“I am proud of how passionate and hardworking the choir students are! The passion and drive embody what a true Raptor is!” The last choir concert was on May 9th; however, there will be many opportunities next year to see the choir’s hard work.