CAHS music students arrive home on April 10 after winning multiple awards at the WorldStrides On Stage Heritage Music Festival in Philadelphia.
Charlotte Amalie High School (CAHS) music students returned from the City of Brotherly Love on Monday, April 10 after racking up impressive awards at the WorldStrides On Stage Heritage Music Festival held April 7 at the Kurtz Center for the Performing Arts. The group, headed by CAHS Music Department instructors Luben Daniel, Naomi Toussaint-Williams, Francis Callwood and Roslyn David, consisted of 78 student-musicians and their chaperones.
The concert band, symphonic band, jazz ensemble and concert choir participated in the annual festival. According to Mr. Daniel, the concert and symphonic bands played a variety of concert repertoire, including marches and contemporary music; the jazz band performed Latin and traditional jazz music; and the concert choir performed gospel pieces and a special tune with African influences.
"Ill always be proud of what we do as a [music] department and what the students can accomplish as young musicians," Mr. Daniel said. "Given the circumstances of what we have to deal with, in terms of resources, supplies, the [limited] time we have to meet for rehearse--to be able to put on a great showing musically and competitively with other groups who may be better positioned than us financially--is a testament to the staff, the students' musicianship, caliber and what they are capable of doing."
Dionne Donadelle, territorial director of music, praised the students' accomplishments.
"I'm not surprised by any means because talent exists here in the Virgin Islands," she said. "CAHS is not new to this type of success. I am so proud of them. I'm especially proud of the adjudicator's award that the jazz band received because that's saying you're above that 90th percentile with the judges. The ovation award is new and it was given to a young lady who is doing so many things that are helpful to her school and the community. I'm elated that we can show off our talent."
In order to bolster music education in the Virgin Islands, Ms. Donadelle has been working on establishing a music certificate program geared toward high school students. "They start in their freshman year and can graduate with a certificate that says they can fix an instrument, teach or perform," she explained. "I am creating things for them to forge a career path in music." The territory's music czar is also creating a music honor society in each district, and plans to re-establish the Music Education Competition that would feature classical and jazz student soloists, duets, quartets and ensembles.
CAHS music students have previously participated in competitions in New York, Canada, London, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and other cities.
CAHS HAWKS MUSIC AWARDS - 2017 WorldStrides On Stage Heritage Music Festival
Symphonic Band = 3A Wind Ensemble division: Silver 3rd place
Jazz Ensemble = 3A Jazz division: Gold 1st place and an Adjudicators' Award
Concert Band = 2A Wind Ensemble division: Silver 1st place
Hawks Concert Choir = 3A Choral division: Silver award
Ger-V Larocque & Eljhaie Brathwaite = Maestro awards for their Trombone and Trumpet solos, respectively. Larocque for "Bacon Sweet Blues" and Brathwaite for "Bacon Sweet Blues" and "Tell Me a Bedtime Story."
Samara Cherival = Ovation award nominated by Ms. Toussaint-Williams