Music in the Parks at Carowinds

Athens+Drive+Women%27s+Chorus+and+Vocal+Ensemble+win+first+place+with+a+98.5
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Music in the Parks at Carowinds

Athens Drive Women's Chorus and Vocal Ensemble win first place with a 98.5

Athens Drive Women's Chorus and Vocal Ensemble win first place with a 98.5

Athens Drive Women's Chorus and Vocal Ensemble win first place with a 98.5

Athens Drive Women's Chorus and Vocal Ensemble win first place with a 98.5

Alana Williamson, Cartoonist

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Music in the Parks is a music performance adjudication festival for students invested music programs across the United States. This means that students and choral directors will be rated on their performance with an optional recorded commentary. This year, Music in the Parks is taking place at Carowinds in Charlotte, N.C. and the choral department is attending the event. Music adjudications are available for band, orchestra and chorus classes with song selection being at the director’s discretion. The event ends with an awards ceremony to appreciate each of the ensembles that performed based on their adjudication ranking.

“Music in the Parks is a nationwide music festival where performing groups from Middle Schools and High Schools around the country come and participate in an adjudicated performance and receive feedback from a expert in their area, whether is be choral, orchestral, or band music,” said Michael Santangelo, Choral Director.

The Music in the Parks Festival sorts each choir into different categories based on their different performance ensembles, the size of each choir and the grade level of each group of performers. Women’s Chorus and Vocal Ensemble are performing competitively amongst other choirs in the AA division. Therefore, the judges will rank them either Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent or Superior and in addition rank each chorus within the AA class. Choral ensembles are provided twenty minutes to set up, perform an optional warm up, perform two selections of the director’s choice and exit the stage.

“We will be singing ‘Set Me as a Seal’ by Rene Clausen and ‘Elijah Rock’ arranged by Moses

Hogan. I chose these songs because they are challenging for the students involved, but are an

attainable goal.  The students involved will be very successful at them, while still being pushed to

expand their abilities,” said Santangelo.

As Santangelo stated, the selections being performed are “Elijah Rock” and “Set Me as a Seal.”Each piece is specifically arranged for a SATB choir, they includes rhythms and harmonies that contrast from the pop music used during Singing Valentines and Spring Cafe. These selections vary in difficulty and introduce opportunities for students to learn and grow. This opinion is shared throughout some students in Women’s Chorus and Vocal Ensemble.

“During ‘Elijah Rock’ the most difficult section to tackle was toward the end where we have 8 parts going on at once and you need to really focus so you don’t lose your notes,” said Kat Patterson, Vocal Ensemble, junior.

The Music in the Parks Festival provides performance adjudications for choral, band and orchestral ensembles. These music adjudications are used as a platform for competitive performance. While the chorus department strives to create a safe environment to help students grow as performers, outside of school performances allow students to display what they have learned.

“I am very competitive by nature and I love going to competitions to show how good our technique is. It’s not all about winning, winning is fun but competition in general is a great ti

me that allows us all to grow,” said Patterson.

Competitive performances introduce goals for each students and the adjudication offers constructive criticism to assist choirs in attaining these goals.

“These competitions give the students something to work towards, and they help to push everyone’s abilities to the next level,” said Santangelo.

According to Music In The Parks, “ Our master teachers evaluate hundreds of ensembles throughout the course of a festival season. This affords them a uni

que perspective that an individual teacher may not provide,” This event will allow the chorus students to be judged by professionals and it offers an opportunity to experience a competitive environment in preparation for the Choral Placement Auditions on May 22 – 24.

“I chose to have the Choral Department at Athens Drive participate in this festival because it is always important to have a goal set, and to work hard to meet that goal.  In this case, we will also be able to have some great time together and students, chaperones and teachers will have a great bonding experience,” said Santangelo.

Music in the Parks serves as more than a competitive performance space for music programs across the United States. The Music in the the Parks Festival is the spring field trip for the chorus department this year. In between the performance and the awards ceremony these jags will roam around Carowinds amusement park. As Santangelo stated, students and chaperones will be able to enjoy time with one another and bond within the chorus family.

“We will participate in the festival in the morning, and then explore the park together throughout

the day.  At 5pm there will be an awards ceremony which we participate in.  Then we will all get

dinner together and continue to explore Carowinds,” said Santangelo.

Some students look forward to participating in different activities throughout the day whether performing or enjoying what the carowinds amusement park has to offer.

“I am looking forward to performing in front of a new group of people that would not otherwise see us perform! I am also very excited to have more bonding with my choi

r and spend time with my team,” said Patterson.

Music in the Parks takes place at Carowinds on April 27th and the awards ceremony will close the event at 5pm. Women’s Chorus and Vocal Ensemble intend to “Elijah Rock” the performance.

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