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Chamber choirs earn first place at music festival

Posted: May 19, 2017

 

by Dale Ann Guidroz

 

The Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School choirs and orchestras honed their skills into a set of awards from the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in Nashville, Tenn., in April.

 

Three choirs and two orchestras, made up of about 160 BBHHS students, accompanied directors Steven Cocchiola (orchestra) and Emily Garlock (choirs) to compete against more than 20 schools from around the country. 

 

The first-time participants placed well in the competition. BBHHS chamber choir won first place in the 4A choral division. The chamber orchestra took first place in the 4A orchestra division, and concert strings (a combination of concert and string orchestra) won first in the 3A orchestra division.

 

The treble choir placed second in the women’s choir division, and the symphonic choir (which combined members of the concert and Choraleers) placed second in the 3A choral division. 

 

Cocchiola said standout performances included Kathleen Mays’ cello solo and the tenor section’s performance in the chamber choir.

 

The choir and orchestra divisions were each evaluated by three judges, who provided oral and written commentary. One judge even worked with the BBHHS choir after the performance.

 

Leading up to the competition, rehearsals took place daily, beginning in mid-February and continuing until the group’s departure. 

 

“We had to have three sets of music prepared,” Cocchiola said. 

 

Other trip highlights took place after the competition. Kirby Shaw, a nationally recognized composer, spoke to the BBHHS participants, and students participated in a workshop at Vanderbilt University.

 

“This was our first year going to an adjudicated event,” Cocchiola said. “It got all of us out of our comfort zones.”

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