Cameron Park Life

Ponderosa choirs shine at Heritage Festivals

By From page B3 | June 06, 2017

Ponderosa High School sent three choir groups to the Heritage Music Festivals in Santa Clara and brought home a veritable mountain of awards and honors. Choirs and bands from all over the country, plus one from Canada, performed at the event.

The Acabellas group won first place with a gold rating and the Adjucator’s Choral Sweepstakes for best group at the entire event.

The Concert Choir also won first place with a gold rating and an Adjucator’s award.

The Chamber Choir won third place with a gold rating. Gold ratings indicate that judges scored the group at 90 or above.

Maestro awards were also given to the following soloists: Erin Ling, Andrew Maloney, Julia Pankow, Ben Thuesen, Cole Aiston and Iona Neff.

As if their accomplishments weren’t impressive enough, Ponderosa High School also won the Overall Music Program Sweepstakes in conjunction with the PHS Band.

None of it would have been possible without months of hard work by the students and their director Erin Bailey.

The Concert Choir performed three pieces in three different languages: German, Latin and Hindi.

“We got the music in February,” said Emma Vanskike. “It’s super hard music. The last week was toughest with all the nitpicky things we were trying to get smoothed out.”

“We prepped for months, in class and out of class,” said Alexys Bartok. “We also made sure that the end goal wasn’t competition but to do the best we could do.”

Jacob Lambert responded strongly to the songs his group performed.

“I made a more emotional connection to the pieces we did … We were talking not just about the notes but about the text and how it impacts your life,” he said.

The public can support these dedicated and talented students by becoming a Choir Booster. Contact Heather Neff at [email protected]

Joe McNeilly

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