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GPFAA Academy Singers Rock the House at SWACDA 2020

The High School GPFAA Academy Singers traveled to Little Rock, AR, on March 4th, 2020, for an invitational performance at the Southwestern Division of the American Choral Directors Association (SWACDA) conference.  They were one of only seven high school choirs selected to perform at this conference. It was an incredible honor to be chosen to perform at this gathering of choral directors from across the country.

On the way to Little Rock, the choir visited Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR. Dr. Joshua Brown was their generous and gracious host, and he gave the choir students a tour of the campus, provided lunch at the University cafeteria, and the Academy Singers performed together with an Ouachita Baptist University Choir. It was an excellent opportunity for our choral students to explore a possible collegiate prospect for their ongoing education.

The Academy Singers performed a dynamic and emotional program at the Robinson Performance Center in Little Rock on Thursday,  March 5th, 2020. They have been rehearsing for this performance since September, and the performance was a great representation of all the hard work and passion that went into preparing for this program. They definitely “Rocked the House”.  Later in the evening, they took part in a Friendship Concert with Arvada West High School’s Company West Choir. Both choirs shared the global events that inspired their choral programs. It was a very emotional and special night for both the students and their directors.

After their performance, they were able to have some fun while learning about Little Rock, AR, and American history. They toured both the Bill Clinton Presidential Library(where a few groups sang in the “oval office”) and the USS Razorback Submarine (where they sang while on a tug boat).  They also learned about Little Rock landmarks while taking a trolley tour of downtown Little Rock. All of the students made GPFAA proud both on and off the stage during this performance trip.  They were great examples of respectful behavior and integrity throughout the trip.

This performance was the result of many months of preparation by the Directors, Mr. Duarte and Mrs. Maughan, and the High School Vocal Music students. The trip was made a success by the trip coordinators, Melissa Kirby and Lily Tredemeyer, by all of the hard work and dedication of each of the chaperones, and by the support of all the parents. This was a once in a lifetime experience for the students and one that will likely help to shape their future educational endeavors. Bravo!!

Special Shout-Outs: 

Mr. Chris Schoppe- it’s so great to have you back and to be apart of something very special. Your multiple talents made this program successful. Thank you for always being so adaptable and doing whatever it takes for the betterment of the students.

Dr. John Wayman- thank you for being an honorary GPFAA VM member! You helped in many ways, from the beginning and literally to the end. Our students and parents realize how much you mean to the program.

Mr. Israel Arguello- its great knowing that we have someone as talented as you now part of the vocal music family. Thank you for the services you gave for the program. You played beautifully and hope you had a great time doing it!

Mrs. Candice Maughan- First, thank you for putting up with all my craziness throughout this process. Throughout the process, you played an important role, and I hope you know that. Thank you for being willing to jumping in on whatever was needed throughout the program–your expertise made this program that much better.  You are a wonderful colleague and a fantastic teacher.

Mr. Stephen Griffs AKA- “Back Stage Narrator”- I can not tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to helping out the choir and technically being apart of the production. There are not many parents that I know that would say, “Yes, I will speak background during the performance.”  I hope you understand that you helped deliver the message we had in store for the program.

Connie, Amy, Claudia, Irma, Israel, Karen, Lily, Lucinda, Melissa, Stephen, Norma, Patty, and Macey- AKA “Chaperones”- You all are the real MVP’s. I would have to say that this has been one of the best trips we have had, and that is because of your hard work! You all were efficient, organized, positive, and treated all students like they were your own. I hope you all got to see the reasons why we enjoy what we love to do. You all have set the standard and the culture of what it takes to be a VM chaperone.

Traveling parents/guardians, alumni, and FANS- I can not say how important you are… you do not go unseen. There is an unquestionable comfort in knowing you were in the audience. Its good to know that you all are rooting for us and wishing us the best. Your dedication and support are so much appreciated.

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