Middle School Symphony, Madrigals take first at music competition

By Noa Yadidi

The Middle School Symphony and Madrigals won first place at the Heritage Music Festival of Gold in Chicago April 13-17.

The symphony orchestra was one of eight instrumental ensembles, including four orchestras, that competed middle school orchestra director Emily Reola said, and was the only middle school orchestra represented. The Madrigals and Vocal Ensemble competed in the chamber choir and women’s choir categories, respectively.

Students also spent some time visiting attractions in Chicago such as Navy Pier and also spent some time in workshops at the festival.

“The music making, especially the one-hour clinics with the guest conductors were amazing,” Middle School Director of Choral Music Nina Burtchaell said. “My singers said that they learned so much from the guest clinicians. The performances were mind-bogglingly beautiful.”

The orchestra and choirs were invited to the festival after receiving the “highest accolades at the Heritage Music Festival in Anaheim last spring” Reola said. During their five-day stay the students worked with professional music educators and conductors, watched performances, performed at Chicago’s Symphony’s Orchestra hall and Fourth Presbyterian Church and toured some of Chicago’s museums.