Columbia Middle School music students took to a bigger stage than they are used to this month performing at the annual Anaheim Heritage Festival on Fullerton College’s campus.
The group of 98 seventh and eighth graders entertained a panel of judges by giving outstanding performances at the choral and instrumental ensemble competition, which hosted more than 1,600 middle and high school students total.
While this was the eighth graders second time performing at the festival, the seventh graders were new to the experience. Despite some initial nervousness, the choir, band and orchestra all finished strong.
CMS’s choir received a silver rating and tied for third place. Gold is the highest rating that a group can receive and they narrowly missed it by one point. Band received a silver rating (narrowly missing gold by half a point) and took first place. Orchestra received a gold rating and took first place. Some very proud moments for our students and community!
Columbia Middle has 209 students enrolled in the music program, almost a third of the entire school population. This speaks to the quality of the program and the quality of instruction provided by our very own Warren Scott. Students celebrated the following day at Disneyland, which for some, was the first time experiencing the magical park.
“There were a lot of special moments that happened this year,” said CMS music instructor Warren Scott. “I am just so proud of them. To see their hard work this year pay off this weekend, it was everything I hoped for. They represented the school, the district and the community so well. We have a lot to be proud of with these kids.”
Each group performed three pieces in front of three judges, who later gave constructive written and recorded feedback on how they could improve further. At the end the group was given an on-stage mini clinic with the judges and were able to take home a professional recording of their performance.
Students also had the opportunity to participate as an audience for other groups competing. Once everyone finished with their performances, students were invited to an exclusive awards ceremony inside the Disney park.
Students worked hard fundraising schoolwide for this trip beginning last June, selling cookie dough, candles, and candy. Parents also lent their support selling concessions at Levi’s Stadium, coordinating Dine Out nights at local restaurants, and by providing some additional funds through the PTSA.
“A lot of people came through to make this happen,” Scott said.
Mr. Scott said he was thankful for everyone’s continued support of the arts and allowing our students the opportunity to taking enriching and fun trips like this.
“My goals are for students to learn that they are able to succeed at something and to realize that hard work really leads to something,” Scott said. “The skills they gain when they are in music, those lessons stay with them forever.”