Orchestra and Choir Take Chicago by Storm

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Tracy Baker

Pattonville High School’s Choir and Orchestra on their way to Chicago to perform. The choir “practiced every day and made sure to finetune any little things that would just make the pieces even better,” said Devin Scharer.

Ava Bearskin, Editor-in-Chief

On April 29-May 1, 49 choir and orchestra students traveled to Chicago to compete. Choir tied for first place in their division and Orchestra earned first place in their division as well as first place best orchestra of the day.
The orchestra competed at the Music in the Park festival, with many last minute adaptations to their performance. They were originally going to have two orchestras perform, but had to combine the two for the performance.
“We learned a combination of new music, and music we brought to our Missouri Festival back in March. We utilized judges’ comments from March, did plenty of small group work, listened to recordings, and practiced hard for the whole month of April, and clearly, their effort paid off,” orchestra director, Mr. Rueschhoff said.
Sydney Hoynacki was proud of the orchestra for their first place performance, “We didn’t have a lot of time to work together on those pieces, so our ranking really goes to show just how dedicated everyone is to making the orchestra program successful,” she said.
With a first place rating after performing in front of peers and judges, Mr. Rueschhoff was very proud of his students’ hard work.
“I really had no idea how stiff the competition was so I didn’t get my hopes up, but when we walked off the stage, you could feel how excited everyone was. Definitely our best performance of the year and even the students agreed,” Rueschhoff said.

“I really had no idea how stiff the competition was so I didn’t get my hopes up, but when we walked off the stage, you could feel how excited everyone was. Definitely our best performance of the year and even the students agreed.””

— Paul Rueschhoff

The choir’s competition was more laid back, according to Devin Scharer. “We just went in, warmed up, sang our pieces, and then we were good. The orchestra was amazing, and it was cool to be able to listen to them perform.” Scharer had been concerned about performing a song that their director was not too familiar with.
Junior Ethan Massey is involved with many of the music programs at Pattonville. “We tied with a choir in a different category than us, so it is not that comparable. I would not expect anything less from the choir or really any of the music programs here at Pattonville. They are all very successful,” Massey said.
Both groups were able to sightsee around Chicago as well as a final trip for seniors and for the rest to bond. They got to “go downtown to see the Bean, walk the Magnificent Mile, and went up 100 floors in the Hancock Building to view the night time city lights during a thunderstorm,” Rueschhoff said.
The choir had their last concert on Monday, May 9, but some members will be performing at graduation. The orchestra had one more performance on Thursday, May 12, before saying goodbye to their seniors.