PHS Choirs win trophies in national competition

BOSTON – The Parkersburg High School Choirs, under the direction of Pamela McClain, traveled to Boston, Mass., April 24-28, participating in the National Heritage Festivals Choral Competition.

The Men’s Ensemble, Women’s Ensemble, Chamber Choir and A Cappella Choir each received a “gold” award for receiving scores of 94 and higher in competition. The three adjudicators were Stan Engebretson, George Mason University; Michelle Holt, University of Rhode Island, and Timothy Shetler, Eastern Nazarene University.

Both Men’s Ensemble, Chamber Choir and A Cappella Choir received judge’s choice trophies for most outstanding choral groups in competition. All four groups received the sweepstakes trophy for receiving the highest combined scores in choral competition.

The choirs received a total of eight trophies and four plaques. Seven choir students received individual Maestro awards for most outstanding solos in competition.

Students included senior Zoe Heflin for a cello and piano accompanying award, junior Ryan Phipps as outstanding cello soloist, and seniors Avery West, Micaela Edman, Dylan Fahey, junior, John Bolton and sophomore Sam Miser received vocal solo awards.

The choirs received an invitation to perform next year at either the Heritage Festivals of Gold or in Carnegie Hall in New York City, Chicago’s Symphony Hall or in San Diego, Calif.

While in Boston, the choir attended the “Blue Man Group” show, toured the historical city of Boston, toured Plimoth Plantation, sang in the famous Old North Church, took a dinner cruise around the Boston harbor and dined at the Durgin Park Restaurant, which is the oldest restaurant in Boston.

An awards ceremony was held at the Doubletree Hotel in Danvers, Mass., where more than 1,200 students participated.

“A total of 97 students and 36 adults were able to see the spirit of the Boston people following the tragic events on April 15,” McClain said. “We sang the National Anthem on our bus as we crossed the marathon finish line. We also sang the National Anthem on the Old Court House steps where those working lifted their windows and applauded us.

“Many students bought shirts saying, BOSTON STRONG, which became our trip motto. We know that we were meant to be in this beautiful, clean and historic city. It was music that drew our spirits together with all who heard us,” McClain said.

The PHS A Cappella Choir Spring Concert will be May 23 in the school auditorium.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. and will feature each of the four choirs as well as an all state octet, an all state chamber ensemble, state solo and ensemble finalists and 30 senior choir members.

Students selected to the A Cappella Choir for the 2013 -14 school year will join the choir on stage singing “Home Among the Hills”. A reception honoring the seniors will be held in the school cafeteria following the concert.

The concert is free with donations accepted at the door.