The Magnolia High School choral music program recently completed its 2017 competition season on a high note, earning top accolades at both the Arkansas State Choral Festival and WorldStrides On-Stage Dallas Heritage National competitions.

Class AAAAA competition of the Arkansas State Choral Festival was held on Tuesday, April 4 at Searcy High School. Magnolia High School Concert Men, Bel Canto, and Concert Choir each earned Superior-Division I ratings in performance.

In addition, Bel Canto was awarded “Best in Class AAAAA Female Large Ensemble” and “Best in Class AAAAA Overall Large Ensemble.” The Concert Choir earned the coveted “ArkCDA Sweepstakes Award.” Adjudicators for the event included Dr. Brian Kittredge, University of Alabama-Birmingham; Dr. Melinda Doyle, University of Montevallo; and Dr. Nicholas Cummins, Northwestern Stat.

On April 6-9, the choirs traveled to the WorldStrides On-Stage Dallas Heritage Festival National competition at the Jack E. Singley Academy in Irving, TX.

Divisional results were as follows: Concert Men (Gold Rating), Bel Canto (Gold Rating, 2nd Place Overall), Concert Choir (Gold Rating, 1st Place Overall). In addition, the MHS choral program earned the 2017 Choral Sweepstakes Award which is awarded to a school with two or more groups that had the highest score toward a perfect 200 score.

The Magnolia Concert Choir earned the 2017 Adjudicator’s Award, which is given to ensembles that averaged a score of 95 or higher. The Concert Choir also won the 2017 Outstanding Choral Group Award. This is awarded to the highest scoring choral ensemble at the Dallas event.

Dalicia Torrence, a senior at MHS, was awarded the Maestro Award. This award goes to a student who displayed extraordinary musical ability and sensitivity.

Adjudicators included Dr. Jolene Webster, University of Texas-Austin; Dr. Randall Hooper, Texas A&M-Commerce; and Dr. William McMillian, University of Texas-El Paso. Schools finishing 2nd and 3rd place were Artesia High School, Artesia, NM and Austin High School, Decatur, AL, respectively.

High marks at the Dallas event automatically qualifies Magnolia groups for the 2018 WorldStrides Festival of Gold Competition, to be held in the following cities next spring: Nashville, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles.

Magnolia’s participation in the national event was sponsored by the Magnolia Public Schools, Albemarle Foundation, Magnolia Junior Charity League, Farmers Bank & Trust and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Murphy.

Magnolia High School choirs are under the direction of Larry Dunn, accompanied by Cindy Burdine and Paula Van Meter.

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