The Boardman High School Orchestras and Choirs were awarded top honors at the Fiesta-Val National Music Competition held in Virginia Beach, Va., on Friday, April 27. Participating groups from Boardman were Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Chorale and Boardman Singers. Bands, Choirs, Jazz Ensembles and Orchestras from Connecticut to Ohio participated in this festival.
At the competition, the Boardman Chamber Orchestra received a "Superior" rating and was awarded a second place trophy in division 6. The Boardman Symphony Orchestra also received a "Superior" rating, and captured a first place trophy in division 5. The Boardman Chorale participated in the categories of Show Choir and Classical Choir in division 4 and received two "Excellent" ratings and two second place trophies. The Boardman Singers participated in Show Choir, Open division where they received a rating of "Excellent" and a first place trophy, as well as Treble Choir where they received a "Superior" rating and a second place trophy. In addition, the judges awarded special "Adjudicator Recognition" trophies to soloists Lily Gelfand (cello), Kari Huddleston (vocal), Alicia Lawson (vocal), and Sarah Shon (violin).
Comments from the judges for the Boardman Orchestras included: "Very beautiful sound", "Very fine soloists", "Great job. Terrific group!" and "Great control". Comments from the judges for the Boardman Choirs included: "Nice variety, good discipline", "Nice phrasing and dynamic contrast" and "Choirs look engaged and poised".
Photos by Jim McCreary, Town Crier correspondent
Lily Gelfand performs her cello solo during 'Dives and Lazarus' by Vaugh Williams.
Orchestra director Michele Prokop said, "We are very proud of our orchestra students, both in their high level of performance and their representation of not only our music program, but the entire school and community. The orchestra performed a very challenging program including works of Borodin, Shostakovich, Rimsky-Korsakoff and Vaughan Williams at a professional level. It is truly a privilege to instruct such a dedicated and talented group of students." The Orchestra Program in Boardman Schools is taught by Prokop, Bill Amendol and Timothy Tuite.
"In my first year as the high school choral director, I could not be more proud of our choral students as they carried on the tradition of excellence that dates back to the time when I was a student in the very same program," said choir Director Linda Smrek. The choirs are directed by Smrek, Dwen Alexander, Linda Taylor with choreography instructed by Nick Opritza.
While in the Virginia Beach area, members of the orchestras and choirs visited the Virginia Arts Festival "Tattoo" Performance which included several military music ensembles and dance groups from as far as Belgium. Funds for travel and competition are provided by the families of choir and orchestra members, the Boardman Band and Orchestra Parents Association, Boardman Choral Parents Association and support from the Boardman community.
The orchestras now will prepare for their next concerts for the community where much of the literature from the national competition will be showcased, along with senior soloists Ellen Faust, Double Bass and Dominic DeLaurentis. The high school orchestras will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 23 in the Boardman Performing Arts Center. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for students with senior citizens and pre-schoolers admitted free of charge.
The choirs will present their annual Spring Concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 16 in the BPAC auditorium. Reserved seats are $6, general admission is $4 with senior citizens admitted free of charge.