Choir and orchestra took the sweepstakes award at the competition in New Orleans.

Choir and orchestra took the sweepstakes award at the competition in New Orleans.

Choir and orchestra students took a bus down to New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 30, to compete in the World Strides OnStage Festival. The Pattonville choirs and orchestras competed in the World Strides Festival Saturday morning and received their awards Saturday evening at the Masquerade Banquet.

All choir groups received Gold (scores equal or greater than 90/100) and received an invitation to Carnegie Hall. Both orchestra groups received Silver (scores equal to or between 80 and 89) and Chamber’s concertmaster Christie Jiang received the Maestro Award, given to multiple students between schools awarded by the educators (judges). Chamber orchestra missed scoring Gold by one point, averaged between the three judges.

In the end, Pattonville took the entire competition by storm and won the Sweepstakes Award.

“There was a school named Sequoyah High School that kept winning every single award,” junior Christie Jiang said. “When we won the last award, which was the biggest award of the night, we were so happy.”

Junior Joshua Royal recognized the talent of Sequoyah, but was excited that the judges recognized the talent of Pattonville as well.

“Sequoyah didn’t receive anything that they didn’t deserve, but when we won, I felt like running over to their table and dancing on top of it,” Royal said.

Other than the competition, the students were able to bond during their free time.

“New Orleans is a very diverse area so you could be yourself and make new friends in the process,” senior Karrie Henderson said. “I was able to bond with a lot of people and talk to them on a personal level.”

The students were able to explore and experience the city of New Orleans through performances and famous attractions.

“I enjoyed the private performance at Preservation Hall,” senior Samantha Smith said. “It was awesome to see how into the music the musicians got and how talented they all were.”

Students got the unique opportunity to do a swamp tour while they were in New Orleans.

“My favorite part of New Orleans was the swamp tour because I got to hold a baby alligator, my homie Bruce,” senior Breanna Merritt said. “I’m honestly so grateful that New Orleans was my senior trip. I honestly didn’t want to come home.”

The students arrived home on April 3 bringing the trip to an end.

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