Choirs Bring Home Gold From Atlanta

Will Hold Spring Concert May 8


Lisa Hayes

A Cappella Choir performs on stage at the WorldStrides Heritage Festival, lead by choir director Joshua Dubs.

Four PHS choral groups, A Cappella Choir, Chamber Choir, Women’s Ensemble and Men’s Ensemble, competed at the 2023 WorldStrides Heritage Festival on Saturday, April 22 in Atlanta, Georgia. Each competing group was graded on their averaged score between three judges on a point scale of 0-100. Any score above a 90 gained a group a gold status and the winner was the group with the highest score overall in a given category.

Chamber Choir performed three songs: “The Word Was God,” arranged by Rosephanye Powell, “Desh,” composed by Ethan Sperry, and “The Awakening,” which was arranged by Joseph M. Martin.

A Cappella performed three songs: “O Clap Your Hands,” arranged by the general editor of Oxford Anthems, David Willcocks, “Ave Verum Corpus,” a motet composed by Mozart, and “John the Revelator,” arranged by Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory.

Women’s Ensemble performed two songs: “Salmo 150,” composed by Ernani Aguiar and transcribed by Donald Partiquin and Alberto Grau, and “Pure Imagination,” arranged by Matthew D. Nielsen. Senior Lillian Floyd began “Pure Imagination” by singing the first verse as a solo.

Men’s Ensemble performed two songs: “Music in the Air,” composed by Ryan Murphy and “Vive L’Amour,” arranged by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw. Soloists in “Vive L’Amour” were senior Joshua Fruner, sophomore Jackson Wharton and freshman Christian Marshall.

“Singing the solo at competition was a great experience, especially because I was given feedback by one of the judges after the performance,” said Wharton.

All four of the choral groups that traveled to Atlanta earned scores above a 90 and therefore, all earned a gold status in the competition. A Cappella and Women’s Ensemble each earned the Adjudicator Award in their separate categories, meaning that each scored over 95 points in their ratings, with A Cappella scoring a 97.3 and Women’s Ensemble scoring 95.3. A Cappella also earned an award for Outstanding Choir for having the closest to perfect score. Together, the four choirs earned the Sweepstakes Award, which means that they had the highest score closest to 200 between the choral groups.

While in Atlanta, the choir spent time traveling to different landmarks, including visiting museums such as the World of Coca-Cola, the Chick-fil-A College Sports Hall of Fame and the Civil Rights Museum.  They were also able to spend some time in Centennial Park as well as visit Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium.

“Honestly it wouldn’t have been very fun without the people in choir,” said freshman Keira McPeek. “There’s so many talented and wonderful people and the balance between fun and seriousness in this group is amazing.”

The choirs are performing for the public in the auditorium on May 8 at 7 p.m. with their competition songs and other pieces.