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Choirs receive superior ratings at national competition



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Oxford High School’s choirs have a lot to celebrate. Photo provided. (click for larger version)
May 26, 2010 - Three Oxford Choirs took to the national stage on Friday, May 14 in Oak Harbour, Ohio and walked out with superior ratings once the competition was over.

Competing against 23 choirs, bands and orchestras from various states, the high school Mixed Chorale and combined Women's Choir each received scores of 96.5 to claim a superior rating at the national event.

Advanced women's choir Caritas also received a superior rating of 97.5, which earned them the Grand Champion trophy for having the highest score of the competition.

OHS Choir Director Christopher Card was thrilled with how well the groups performed.

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"Having each of our choirs perform at State Festival and then reach the highest level of excellence on a national level certainly does a lot to build confidence in the vocalists involved," Card said.

"In my 16 years of teaching, I have not been more proud of a choir program for their love and passion for preforming," he added.

The competition was judged by a group of college professors who held each group to a national standard.

Performing groups were judged on a 100 point scale, with scores of 90 and above being superior, 80-89 being excellent and 70-79 being good.

Card said that in addition to the superior rating trophies, the Oxford Choir program was singled out and received the Esprit de Corp Award, which was presented to the one school that stood out for their professionalism, positive attitudes, strong spirit and camaraderie.

On an individual level, senior Jalen Seawright received the Outstanding Soloist Award for his efforts on the song "My God is So High."

According to Card, this was the second year in a row that Seawright was honored on a national level with an Outstanding Soloist award.

"This group of students has that extra spark that creates both excellence and extreme enjoyment. This has been a year of results for these choir students," Card said. "I could not be more proud of them and all of their accomplishments throughout the year."

The next major trip on a national level for the choirs is a trip to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York in spring 2011. "The Oxford High School Choirs are just getting started in their pursuit of artistic excellence," Card said. "We have no intention of staying at one level of excellence; there are many levels of performance capability and we intend to keep taking it up a notch each year."

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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