In the past few months, both Minniesingers and Madrigals have won the highest honors of their competitions. In Hawaii, Madrigals placed first. In Anaheim, Minnesingers was awarded the gold medal for both Outstanding Choral Ensemble and the Adjudicators’ Award for Exceptional Scores.
Minnesingers spent the weekend of April 29 at Disneyland singing in the Heritage Music festival. According to director Joel Pressman, “Their clinician referred to their ‘virtuosic performance’ in awarding them exceedingly high marks on a national standard.”
“The competitions personally make me really nervous, but I’m glad I’ve gotten to compete because I’ve gained a lot of confidence and have actually learned a lot of things from opposing choirs,” sophomore Haylee Hessel said.
Many students joined Minnesingers because of their love of music and for the experience.
“I love to sing and perform, but mostly I wanted a place where I would meet new people and make new and lasting friendships,” sophomore Shanna Benji said.
To practice, the Minnesingers would read a song for the first time, before singing it through until they got it right.
“Then, when we get a new song, we try to sing it once through first, then go back and actually learn the notes, and later the words,” Benji said.
The day before the competition the Minnesingers had the chance to work with other conductors in workshops.
“They helped us improve things we had been struggling with for a while merely by presenting them to us in a different way,” Benji said.
This, added to their consistent, hard practice helped the Minnesingers to perform the best they could.
“Our consistent, hard work every day is the reason for our huge success in the competition in Anaheim,” Hessel said.
Naturally, the members of the Minnesingers were very proud of their accomplishments at Anaheim. They got to celebrate by spending a day at Disneyland.
“Well, as a trip on the whole I loved spending time with my friends and just hanging out. Oh…and Disneyland, of course!!!” Benji said.
Madrigals spent the second half of spring break in Hawaii, performing at a music festival. The festival was a way for the Madrigals to be ranked as superior, good, or better. They received the top score.
The playlist included “Les Chants des Oiseaux”, “El Guayaboso”, “Amor de Mi Alma” , “Daniel Daniel” and “Sililiza” which was a piece sung by all of the schools.
“My favorite song that we sung was ‘Amor de Mi Alma’,” sophomore Deven Martin said.
Many things contributed to the successful festival. One contribution to their success was the fact that the Madrigals were in a good state of mind. Another was the amount of practice and perseverance that went into the practicing of their songs as well as their director’s good health.
“The sound was good, the connection with the pieces was present and I just enjoyed that feeling of performing,” Martin said.