The Mt. Ararat Music Department recently traveled to Washington DC to participate in the Heritage Music Festival (http://www.worldstridesheritageperformance.org/). On April 26, 90 students and chaperones boarded buses and departed for Washington DC, arriving that evening. The Wind Ensemble under the direction of Allen Graffam, and the Chamber Singers and Treble Choir under the direction of Kristen Thomas, competed against 14 other choruses and 11 other bands.
The Wind Ensemble received a gold award, the highest award possible, and placed first in their division and second overall in the Concert Band category. The Chamber Singers and Treble Choir both received silver awards. In addition, the Wind Ensemble was awarded an Adjudicators Award for receiving a score of 92 or above, one of only two Adjudicator Awards given to a band at the festival.
The groups were judged by nationally known experts in the field and and were held to a national standard, with awards based on point totals.
In addition to the festival, the students got time to visit sights in Washington, including the National Zoo, the Smithsonian Museums and had a night time tour of the city, including visits to the various monuments, including the newly opened Martin Luther King Memorial.