Choral Program Captures 3 ‘Music in the Parks’ Awards


Destiny Sheppard

Seniors Bryant Aguirre and Louis Spann, with junior Michelle Perna, carry their choirs’ three awards into Warren Hills Regional High School.

Destiny Sheppard, Staff Reporter

Warren Hills choir students won three awards in their May 14 competition at Catasauqua High School in North Hampton, Pennsylvania, as part of the annual “Music in the Parks” festival.

The competition was the first traveling performance by the choir since pandemic restrictions were instituted in March 2020.

The Advanced Concert Choir earned second place with a superior rating, and the Select Choir earned first place with a superior rating. They also received an award for their etiquette in the crowd, as they had arrived early and maintained a respectful disposition, according to the competition’s judges.

“Music in the Parks” is a competition where choirs from throughout the region travel to perform at an adjudication site before celebrating their accomplishments at an amusement park. This year, the celebrations were held at Dorney Amusement Park.

“Music in the Parks” advertises itself on its website as an educationally-focused music festival providing school performance groups the opportunity to learn from “exceptional conductors in the field of music education.” The 40-year-old organization puts together dozens of festivals across the United States each year.

The Warren Hills Advanced Concert Choir practices during Blocks A and B. The class requires an audition to attend.

The Select Choir meets after school once a week, and auditions are also required.
Both choirs had been preparing for the “Music in the Parks” performance since January.

The competition was judged by a panel of adjudicators experienced in the music field.

This was an emotional performance for the seniors, being their last big performance.

“It was a bonding experience in choir,” said senior and Block A President Bryant Aguirre. “I like how music is being emphasized more and made more important.”

There were many trials and tribulations for the choir, such as practicing with masks and remaining socially distanced. There was also the underlying fact that this was the first away performance by the choir since the pandemic.

“I’d heard a lot about ‘Music in The Parks’ in the past, and it lived up to its expectations,” said sophomore Bailey Van Orman. “Not having the opportunity to go to ‘Music in the Parks’ freshman year, it feels good to win three awards.”

The choir gradually improved since the beginning of the school year.

“Warren Hills choir students really rose up to the occasion at the ‘Music in the Parks’ competition,” said Choral Director Lauren M. Voight. “I couldn’t be more proud of their performance.”

After the competition, the choir headed off to Dorney Park for a celebration. The amusement park has hosted “Music in the Parks” for many years.

The two Warren Hills choirs are formulating plans to attend a “Music in the Parks” celebration at Hershey Park in Pennsylvania next spring.

Choir students followed up their award-winning travel performance with a “Cabaret Night” May 19, featuring individual performances by the Select Choir.