The Delaware Hayes High School Symphonic Choir and Chorale both received “Superior” ratings at an Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) District 10 adjudicated event last week and will now head to state competitions in April.
The ratings continue the groups’ streak of success after they traveled to Ohio University in Athens and participated in the first annual Ohio University Choir Invitational last month. At the Athens competition, the Hayes Chorale took first place in the treble ensemble category, and the Hayes Symphonic Choir took the overall grand prize.
“I was very pleased with performances of both groups,” Hayes Director of Choirs Dr. Dara Gillis said. “(That) was the first time the groups had participated in a competitive environment since the spring of 2020, and they certainly rose to the challenge. It was a wonderful opportunity for them to receive feedback from other professionals and for them to hear the performances of other choirs from around the state.”
Gillis said she was happy to see the students rewarded for their hard work.
“I was thrilled for the students,” she said. “I felt their awards were reflective of the hard work they give in class each day and their commitment to making great music. The entire experience was a great bonding opportunity for all of us, and the awards were the icing on the cake!”
Lillian Ball, president of the Hayes Chorale, said winning the grand prize in Athens was “awesome.”
“It felt like everything we’d worked toward finally paid off,” she said.
Ball added the group had been practicing new songs since January, and she’s looking forward to future competitions and growing as a performer.
“(What I’m looking forward to) next is learning and growing more as a group and just having fun doing what we love,” Ball said.
On March 4, the groups participated in the district level of competition and both received “Superior” ratings, the highest possible score. The groups now qualify for and will participate in the state OMEA competition in late April.
Eleni Caudill, president of the Hayes Symphonic Choir, said winning at the competitions has been “an amazing experience.”
“When we won, you could tell everyone felt extreme pride in themselves and in each other due to all of the effort and energy we put into our performance,” Caudill said. “For me specifically, I had felt as if all of our hard work had really paid off. It was very relieving. We practiced everyday in class and outside of class for about a month before.”