Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Music students shine in Anaheim

Musicians bring home plethora of awards

Express Staff Writer

Wood River High School students at center, Sean Sutton, left, and Drew Deffe, accept an award at the Heritage Music Festival on April 14 in Anaheim, Calif. Sutton and Deffe are members of The B-Tones male ensemble, which won a silver award at the festival. Courtesy photo

Wood River High School music students came home with a pile of awards last month from the Heritage Music Festival in Anaheim, Calif.

Some 160 Wood River choir, orchestra and band musicians were among more than 2,600 students from throughout the United States who attended the competition on April 14.

In a letter to the Idaho Mountain Express, parent and chaperone Steve Deffe wrote that student musical groups "were judged not only on their musicianship, but also on appearance and the way they conducted themselves on and off stage."

"Not only did they look marvelous, they performed at or near the top of each of their performances," Deffe wrote.

In the high school's vocal department, the women's choir Carmina Montis, the mixed choir Spiritus and the women's ensemble Colla Voce all received gold awards, while the male ensemble The B-Tones was awarded silver.

The string orchestra and the chamber orchestra were also awarded gold, while the string orchestra was also named best orchestra at the festival.

Another gold award went to the Dixie band. The jazz band received silver, while the concert band was awarded bronze.

"All you parents should be very proud of your children," Deffe stated. "I only wish each one of you could have seen the looks on your students' faces when their performances were finished—they lit up the California sky."

Deffe stated that Tony Randall, the Wood River band director who was severely injured in a February traffic accident, inspired the students to perform to their best abilities. He also credited other high school music teachers for the success in Anaheim.

"Please remember Tony Randall in your thoughts," Deffe wrote. "Max Stimac is a god, R.L. Rowsey is a saint, Jim Watkinson is a rock and congratulations to Rebecca Martin and great work with the orchestra."

Stimac is the high school choir director, Rowsey directs special choir groups and filled in as substitute band leader, Watkinson is choir accompanist and arranger, and Martin oversees the orchestra.

Terry Smith:

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