Choirs Continue Tradition of Excellence, Take Home Gold in Nashville


Senior members of A Cappella and Director Joshua Dubs at the Ryman Auditorium in April.

On Saturday April 23, the A Cappella and Chamber choirs competed at a World Strides event in Nashville, TN and claimed several awards for their performances. A Cappella performed three songs: “All That Hath Life and Breath,” composed by René Clausen with a solo by senior Harper Lawrence, “Wayfaring Stranger,” arranged by Michael Englehardt with a solo by senior James Reedy, and “Tchaka,” composed by Sydney Guillaume. The Chamber Choir also performed three pieces, including “Daemon Irrepit Callidus,” arranged by George Orbán, “Goodnight Moon,” composed by Eric Whitacre and “J’entends Le Moulin,” arranged by Donald Patriquin.

The evening after the competition, World Strides held an awards ceremony and celebration for all competing choirs at the Wild Horse Saloon. Each choir was scored on a scale of 0-100 based on different criteria including technical skills like blend, diction, tone, etc. In their respective categories, A Cappella won Gold, Second Place with a score of 94.3 and the Chamber Choir won Gold, First Place with a score of 97. Together, both choirs won the Sweepstakes Award and the Festivals of Gold Award, and Chamber won an additional Adjudicator Award. Each soloist, Lawrence and Reedy, won the Maestro Award for their performances in their respective pieces.

“Competing in Nashville was my favorite experience of high school by far. I was surprised to get a Maestro Award, but I’m so thankful, and I sang a lot to get there,” said Lawrence.

In total the choir spent four days in Nashville, visiting several historic landmarks including the Andrew Jackson Hermitage and Country Music Hall of Fame museums. They also visited and performed at several iconic music venues, like the former home of the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium and the Historic RCA Studio B, where country stars like Elvis and Chet Atkins recorded their hit songs.

“I really enjoyed competing with the choir for the first time. We won a lot of awards and it was really nice to see our hard work pay off,” said senior Emma Fleming.

Director Joshua Dubs organized the set list to focus on the themes of community and story telling, which will be expanded on by a larger set list at their spring concert, with the overall theme, “Woven Together.” The spring concert will be held in the auditorium on Monday, May 16 at 7 p.m., where the choirs will perform their award-winning pieces and several new songs, and will be joined by both the Freshman Choir and incoming A Cappella members in the annual “Home Among the Hills” performance.