"MCHS Concert Choir Does Us All Proud in Washington D.C."
Wednesday, May 5, 1999
Summary: The Mason City High School Concert Choir represented Mason City and North Iowa well during a hectic six-day, five-night trip to Washington, D.C.
It was a trip that none of the 78 members of the Mason City High School Concert Choir will ever forget. On a whirlwind six-day, five-night trip to Washington, D.C., choir members experienced many once-in-a-lifetime moments.
Trying to put them all down in a nice and tidy list is a difficult task, but the nicest windfall from this trip may be that it has reaffirmed what many of us already have known - we in North Iowa are blessed with some truly talented and sensitive teen-agers.
Let's start with what this choir has experienced in the last six days.
n It placed in the top eight in the prestigious National Invitational Choral Festival. Despite coming from the smallest school in the competition, the choir was one of eight in the 28-choir festival to be invited to sing an encore performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
n The choir performed at an official Department of State function attended by Vice President Al Gore and Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi.
n In between three days of hectic competition and performing for world leaders, choir members took in the sights and sounds of our nation's capital. And some of those sights - like a somber, solemn tour of the Holocaust Museum - left the students almost speechless.
Late Tuesday night, the buses carrying the Mason City contingent arrived home. The students are back in school today, and they will undoubtedly have some stories to tell their friends and teachers.
They, in turn, should be congratulated for a job well done, for they should be heroes to their school and community as much as a state basketball team was here in Mason City a few years ago.
The work that went into the competition was intense, and it was rare for students to lose sight of the reason they were in Washington. Often over the past few days, students talked about all they had done, but quickly added that the competition, the singing, is what brought them to Washington.
In the end, if they had not made the elite eight, it still would have been a trip for the ages. But making the select cut, not to mention singing for Gore and Obuchi, made this a grand slam trip for director Joel Everist and his charges.
As the choir made its way home, Everist said "it just doesn't get any better than this. ... And these kids, they gave so much."
He hit the nail on the head with both statements. So today, celebrate with these high school students who gave so much. Pat them on the back and let them know we're proud of them. They deserve it.
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