Choir and Band Have Triumphant Day at State Festival

21 performing arts students journeyed to Mizzou representing Liberty in the statewide competition


photo (left) by Morgan Feinstein and photo (right) by Sarita Magno

Liberty band and choir brought home seven gold medals and six silver medals in all.

Gavin Block, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Ledger

Solo and small ensemble performers from choir and band began with quite a crescendo leading up to the MSHSAA State Music Festival, and when the time came, their coda proved to be effective.

Those who received gold ratings at the district competition in March traveled to Mizzou’s campus in Columbia on Thursday, April 27, in hopes of advancing their accomplishments and displaying their talents on a more formal, elevated level. Wentzville Liberty’s group included 15 choir members and 6 band members that participated in the event. In total, band managed to earn one gold and three silver medals, and choir won six gold and three silver ratings.

Many of the students had been practicing their pieces since January at the earliest. They honed in on their respective works with their directors during SOAR Time, NEST Time, before school and after school.

Performing arts students had the chance at state to not only make their voices and instruments heard but also take in the harmonious, ceremonial ambience that resonated near Memorial Student Union. High school contestants and instructors from across Missouri both produced and perceived a soundtrack to the day’s affairs along the passageways outside, creating a sense of whimsical musicality.

Choir director Mr. Datz commented on the fulfilling aspect of educating and watching success be manifested, saying, “That’s one of the most rewarding parts of teaching: getting to see students make progress, believe in themselves and try new things, and that’s what we saw at state. I saw them put on a performance that I hadn’t seen before and draw something out of themselves that I hadn’t seen before, and it’s really cool to see the passion and energy they had while they performed.”

Participants were able to attend the performances of their peers and of those from other schools in the state, internalizing a variety of local backgrounds and interpretations.

Junior Emma Thomas was a part of a flute quartet at the contest. She said regarding herself and her ensemble, “I believe there was a forming chemistry that helped take us to state and become successful.”

In regards to the connection she made to her songs, senior Anna Wright said, “I think ‘Silent Noon’ especially became really important to me because it explored minor joys that we forget to appreciate in life, and so whenever I was having a jumbled day in my mind, it brought me back down to earth and was nice to sing a simple song.” She was also grateful for the camaraderie, saying, “I’m mostly just genuinely happy that I got to sing with my friends.”

Junior Grace Edney, along with the majority of choir soloists, performed a composition in a foreign language, in her case being German.

“It allowed me to find a connection in the meaning of the lyrics while also developing a facial expression appropriately relaying that message to the judge and audience,” she said on executing a culturally separate form of articulation. “Since it was also relatively high in my voice, it helped me stretch my range.”

Edney further remarked on the relationship she had with songs. “I did have a special connection with my first piece, ‘Prayer.’ … I’m a Christian, so when singing this song it helped calm my nerves to genuinely make the song my prayer to Jesus to help me get through the song without messing up or even just that the judge/audience will hear my words and be touched. It really allowed a softer expression when performing because I felt genuine towards the words I was singing.”