Orchestra receives a Gold rating at Heritage Festival in Seattle

Lorelei Ryan

Lorelei Ryan, Editor

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Chamber Orchestra performed four movements of a piece for judges at the Heritage Festival put on by World Strides.

The Pattonville Chamber Orchestra traveled to Seattle, Washington, April 4-8, to participate in the Heritage Festival put on by World Strides. The group received a gold rating, along with the Most Outstanding Orchestra for the 2018 Festival, and senior violinist Christie Jiang was awarded the Maestro Award for the second year in a row for her solo(s) through the performance. In addition to the competition, they also attended an AIM Clinic which stands for Affirm, Inspire, and Mentor at Washington State University.

Arriving by plane late in the afternoon on Wednesday, the orchestra was able to explore a few sites in the city. An underground tour was first on the list, where they learned about the abandoned tunnels under the city where the old street level used to be. Most people were on edge as they had learned that it was haunted; the tour guide even challenged them to try and catch a ghost on camera.

All throughout the rainy week, some sites the group visited were the Space Needle, the Museum of Pop Culture, the Japanese Gardens, and a tour of the Boeing Factory. Ending their trip on Saturday night, they took a 45-minute boat ride to Tillicum Village for the awards ceremony and a buffet dinner where they were served fresh salmon. After dinner was served, all schools in the venue sat and enjoyed a small show put on by Native American dancers; they told the story of the tribe that used to live on the island.

The awards of the night were announced shortly after, and teacher Mr. Michael Dunsmoor was impressed with the results of the orchestra, saying he was pretty shocked they received a Gold.

“I figured we had a chance,” he said. “But, I didn’t expect it.”

This was the second year that senior Christie Jiang won the Maestro Award for her solos in the performance.

“I think it’s pretty cool. It says a lot about the student performer,” Dunsmoor said. “I was trying to plan music in such a way that soloists would be recognized.”

To make the trip a little more interesting, Dunsmoor, who brought his wife and twin infants along to Seattle, held a game all five days called ‘Baby-O’ which is played like Bingo. To win a prize, students had to do different tasks taking care of the babies. Some spots included ‘Fed a baby’, ‘Put a baby to sleep’, ‘Entertained a baby’, along with a few others. All of the students enjoyed playing with the twins and “competing” with each other. Sophomore Nathan Moser was for sure the winner, as he put both twins to sleep many times, as well as calmed them down and entertained them.

Despite the rain and cold weather, all students had fun, bonded with each other more, and celebrated the end of a successful year together.

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Orchestra receives a Gold rating at Heritage Festival in Seattle