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WHS choirs bring home the gold

When the Waupaca High School Vocal Music Department left for New York City on April 24, it did so with hopes of returning victorious from the Heritage Festivals of Music.

The Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and Vocal Jazz Ensemble competed on April 26 against choirs from around the country and placed first in their categories, receiving gold awards.

Overall, 15 different states, as well as Canada and Australia, were represented.

Waupaca High School’s choirs are directed by Dan Wolfgram and Kira Morrissey.

The choirs performed at the competition in the historic Riverside Church in Manhattan.

A panel of three judges from around the country adjudicated the choirs.

The judges based their decisions on different musical criteria demonstrated by the choirs in concert. The judges then spent time with the choirs in a mini-clinic session.

The Concert Choir placed first in its category and received a gold award.

In addition, the Chamber Choir placed first in its category for the fourth consecutive year and was awarded a first-place gold trophy.

The Vocal Jazz Ensemble also received a first-place gold award and received the prestigious Adjudicators Award. The choir needed to average a score of 95 on a 100 point rubric in order to qualify for the honor.

The choirs also performed a concert in St. John the Divine, the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world.

While in New York, the students saw Broadway shows and major sight-seeing attractions, including The Statue of Liberty, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, Chinatown, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, St. Pat’s Cathedral, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, NBC Studios, Top of the Rock and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

During some of their free time, students explored 5th Avenue, the Museum of Natural History and Central Park.

Wolfgram extends his appreciation to chaperones Jeff and Patsy Servey, Kurt and Pam Harrington and Tim and Kathy Gauerke; Accompanist Mike Barden; the Waupaca School Board; area businesses; and especially to the music parents’ organization which helped for the past two years to make the trip a reality.

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