Some local schools were able to showcase their musical talents last weekend at Disney World. The Gulfport High School Madrigals flexed their pipes with an award winning performance last weekend at Festival Disney, a national competition that brings in some of the best choirs and bands across the country. David Chavers, the Choir Director at Gulfport High School, says, "For us to be able to compare ourselves to groups from California, from Virginia, from New York, from Japan, from Quebec, we had to go to an international festival.”
Chavers says his choir has ranked near the top in the state over the past several years because of his dedicated students, like senior, Olivia Russel, who was awarded best soloist for her vocal efforts. Russel says, "I was in four of the groups. Madrigals was the top group. We got silver overall and best in class and a superior, so we did very well in that." Not to be outdone by the choir, the Gulfport orchestra was also on hand to show their skills on the strings, bringing home a first place prize. Anna Knapp, a senior cellist, says, "Well, we got gold overall for orchestra, which is huge, and then we got best in class and that's what we got and it was great.”
This is not the first time Gulfport has attended this concert. They brought back trophies from 2010 and 2012, but this year, they made some major leaps forward. Annie Kesler, a senior violinist, says, "It was so much better this time because we won better awards this time and it was just overall better." Chavers says the opportunity to compete at this level is great motivation for his students, giving them constant direction to the path of success. Chavers closes, "We're not just comparing what we're doing at our own school, we're not just paying attention to moms and dads patting us on the back saying, ‘Good job,’ we're waiting to see what the best in the nation feels like we've done."