Saturday Afternoon International Youth Chorus Festival
(Excerpt from BEST MIDWINTER CONVENTION EVER!, Westunes, Spring 2009, page 3)
Heart of Gold Chorus from Placerville, CA; Janet Matranga, Director
January 28-31, 2009, Pasadena, CA—This impressive event is called a festival because it is not as much a competition as an opportunity for these youth choruses to experience the thrill of singing on the International stage, and receive standing ovations from the appreciative audience.
Scoring is done by grouping the choruses into three age-levels. Level A includes those whose ages average under 19, about high school age. Level AA includes ages which average 19-21, Level AAA includes ages which average 22-24. There was only one Level AAA chorus, and its 31 members scored an impressive average score of 77.1. Most experienced barbershop chapters would love to be able to score this high. There were three Level AA choruses, whose average scores were also high at: 76.1, 73.9 and 68.4. The highest average score of the remaining Level A choruses, all high school level, was still an impressive 63.1.
Three other choruses participated but not for scores. One of them, Pacific Suns, from the San Diego area, was directed by Allan Webb, and organizationally assisted by Paul Girard. At the last minute, the majority of their members dropped out due to heavy school work, so Ringmasters [2008 College Champs] agreed to sing with the remaining five members of that chorus—what a thrill for those five kids. In all, about 240 boys, from eight different Districts in the USA, participated in this event, with almost all convention costs, except transportation, provided by Harmony Foundation International.
[At the Friday night Show of Champions] the College Champs, , were allowed only one song, and sang so well that the audience was scream ing for more when they left the stage. Consequently, they were invited back for the Saturday Night show.