MHHS choir earns top honors at national festival

Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Members of the combined MHHS choir performed in San Francisco last week.

The Mountain Home High School Choir was honored with the 'Spirit of San Francisco Award' this past weekend after competing in a national music festival held in 'The City by the Bay.'

Advisor Blake Olmstead took more than five choirs, composed of over 120 students, to the event, titled the 2006 Heritage Music Festival. There they competed against students from seven states and across Canada.

"The 'Spirit of San Francisco Award' means so much to these kids because it is awarded to the choir that best represents their city and their state while at the festival," Olmstead said.

"That is really something the entire community can be proud of."

Besides the 'Spirit' award, Olmstead's choirs also fared well when matched against much bigger schools and choir programs.

"There were 35 choirs and 46 bands at the festival," he said. "With a total of over 2,400 students competing in various categories."

"And many of them were bigger than MHHS, but we still brought home some hardware."

Taking first-place honors were several Tiger choirs, including: the mixed choir, the men's choir, the jazz choir, and one each of the women's and madrigal choirs.

The festival was held at a community college in Palo Alto and the students stayed at a nearby hotel located across the street from Paramount's Great America Theme Park.

"We competed on Friday from 10 a.m. to almost 11 p.m., which made for a long day," said Olmstead.

"But the next day they actually held the awards ceremony at the theme park. So the kids really enjoyed that."

The group traveled by bus to the event and even though it was a long ride (13 hours), Olmstead said it was a great trip and wished to thank the community for their support.

"We couldn't have done it without the support of everyone in the community," he said.

"From all the people who helped with fund-raising to the chaperones who actually went on the trip, you will never know how thankful these kids are for the opportunity to represent Mountain Home at a national festival such as this."

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