PMHS Chamber Chorus and Jazz Band win gold in Orlando

From April 13 through 16, the PMHS Chamber Chorus and Jazz Band competed in the WorldStrides Performing Arts 2023 Heritage Festival, which took place in Orlando, Florida. The groups competed against schools from across the country and Canada.

The Jazz Band and director Mr. Andrew Van Bochove achieved a Gold Medal and first place performance as well as the Adjudicator Award. The Chamber Chorus and director Mrs. Maria Abeshouse won a Gold Medal and second place performance. Soloists Grace Kiame and Elizabeth Zustin also both won the maestro award. When they weren’t practicing, the groups were having fun at the Universal Studio theme parks.

“We had a very full itinerary, which consisted of a mix of fun and performance,” said sophomore Grace Kiame. “One day we would prep for performances and practice. On the next day, we would head to the parks.” Kiame won the award for her solo in “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” by the Gershwin brothers. ” The Jazz Band performed ‘The Price Is Right’ theme song composed and arranged by Ed Kalehoff (Julian Kalehoff’s grandfather, a member of the Jazz Band) as well as ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’ and ‘Hurricane Season.’ Our chamber choir performed ‘Bonzorno Madonna’, ‘Adijo Kerida,’ and ‘Superstition,'” Kiame said.

Elizabeth Zusin won an award for playing guitar for the Chamber Chorus. “The whole trip was incredibly memorable but I think my favorite part was getting to hang out with people I haven’t interacted with and getting to do so many bonding activities, like go to Universal and go bowling and more,” Zusin said. “Another not so great experience was that our flight got delayed by 4 hours but our band director made the time incredibly entertaining and it became a highlight of the whole trip,” said Zusin.

“I would say my favorite part of the trip was performing at such a competitive venue with lots of talented kids from across the country,” said Elliott Levine, a member of Jazz Band. Kiame said that the groups are uncertain yet if they will be returning to Orlando in 2024 but more trips will hopefully be held in the future.