MCHS music department reaps awards at festival

Choirs, bands perform in Colorado Springs

Last weekend, the Moffat County High School Music department traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo., to perform in the annual Colorado Springs Music Festival. The festival is sponsored by the Heritage Festivals of Salt Lake City.

"The entire department traveled to the festival; the chamber choir, the concert choir, the concert band and the jazz ensemble," said Bill Toovey, band director for MCHS. "I was pleased with the entire weekend."

David Hurst, choir director of grades 612 for Moffat County, also considered the weekend festival to be rewarding.

"The kids were great. They approached the weekend with the competition as their focus, but we also had a lot of fun. The kids acted as professionally as I could've expected them to," Hurst said. "I think overall, it was a very rewarding experience."

The weekend included a trip to the Manitou Cliff dwellings, where there was an opportunity for the students to learn some basic dance steps at a Native American dance presentation. Also, the students enjoyed a cookout and awards ceremony at the Flying W Ranch in Colorado Springs, Toovey said.

All four groups from MCHS took the silver plaque (second place), in their respective categories. The entire group was additionally honored with the Top Spirit Award.

"The kids really supported each other, every group showed up for the other groups' performances, and they were attentive and enthusiastic in the clinics they participated in," Toovey said. "It's a reflection on how well they handled themselves at the events and shows, and with the professional and college players from around the country."

The students felt likewise about the experience.

Bandmember Jorin Rudd, 17, enjoyed the awards ceremony on the Flying W, which he described as "an Old West style ranch. The whole weekend was fun, and the jazz concert went fairly well."

What they were able to see, hear and enjoy also made a big impression.

"It was great exposure," said choir member Krista Decker, 17. "We heard a lot of good choirs, and saw a lot of things. I was most impressed with the quality of the singing and the size of some of the choirs."

For bandmember Jake Earls, 16, one of the highlights was learning the Native American dance steps.

"I liked dancing with the hoops, which is a traditional dance. The whole weekend was educational and fun, and all the bands and choirs were good."

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