Marguerite Alberts, assistant graphics editor
The Madrigals came home on Monday evening after competing against eight schools from across the United States in the Festival of Gold in New York City, where they received a gold trophy and were recognized as one of the greatest choirs in the country. Judges were looking for quality of tone, delivery, beauty, blend, professionalism, song choice, tempo and overall performance. The Madrigals scored a 94.3% overall.
The Festival of Gold was established by the Worldstrides Heritage Performance Programs. According to their website, it “offers elite choirs, bands, and orchestras the opportunity to perform on the world’s greatest stages.” This event is particularly designed to offer choir groups from around the country the opportunity to celebrate music through performances.
“The thing about this festival is that each choir had to have won a gold medal from previous festivals, so it meant that everyone was really good,” senior Lina Herbert said.
Such a win wasn’t without its difficulties. Many students became sick from travelling. Herbert lost her voice.
“We definitely pulled through together as a family,” Herbert said. “A lot of us were sick and so we had to really work to hold things together.”
The Madrigals had been practicing for months in preparation for this event, learning the songs and how to work as a group.
“We’ve been rehearsing these songs starting from the beginning of the year so we’ve spent a lot of time with them,” senior Sadie Katz said.
The Madrigals’ set list included many different genres.
“We sang a song called ‘Angelus ad Pastores Ait,’ a version of the Scottish song Loch Lohmond, a Spanish love song called ‘Amor de mi Alma’ and a gospel song called ‘I Got a Home in a Dat Rock’,’” Katz said.
The last song, a gospel number called “I Got a Home in Dat Rock,” was a critical moment for the group. The group sang the gospel song last because it is their favorite due its upbeat nature and opportunities for solos.
For many in the choral group, including Madrigal Director Joel Pressman, this was their last competition, making the competition bittersweet, according to Herbert.
“The last performance [on stage] was one of the most intense ones because we really had to leave it on the stage [last impression] because it was the last time we would ever get to perform at a festival with madrigals,” Herbert said. “It definitely intensified the experience.”
The Madrigals’ last event will be the Spring Concert at the end of this month. To commemorate the year, the Madrigals will have a party on the last day of school.