The Paonia High School Swing Choir was named "Outstanding Mixed Choir" at the 94th annual Colorado West Invitational Music Performance Festival in Grand Junction. The choir "All Superior" in Class 1A-2A.
The event features middle and high school bands, choirs and orchestras from throughout the region and is held at multiple venues. High school choirs performed at Colorado Mesa University. Students performed the American gospel song, "Great God Almighty," By Stacey V. Gibbs, and "Homage" by Z. Randall Stroope.
In choosing which songs to perform, students listened to numerous pieces, said choir director Dee Holt. Because spring is such a busy time of year, selections were based on level of difficulty and the time it takes to learn them. Karen Helleckson accompanied the choir on piano, and former long-time PHS music director Jan Tuin helped students hone their performance skills the week prior to the festival, said Holt.
As part of the judging process, following the choir's performance, judges worked with students on improving their performance skills and on understanding what judges are looking for.
Paonia mixed choirs have received the honor numerous times over the past 39 years, including three of the past four years. In 2018, they missed performing at the festival due to the fact that it was held over spring break, said Holt.