MILLINOCKET — Joyous, funny, touching and thought-provoking characterized the nearly 30 middle and high school performances last weekend at the Maine Music Educators Association’s 2018 Maine State Vocal Jazz Festival held at Stearns Junior/Senior High School in Millinocket.
Hosted by the Maine Music Educators Association, the festival’s Division 1 State Champion was the Mount Desert Island High School Mixed Show Choir, which took home a gold award for its rich, mesmerizing production “The Fire Prince and Ice Maiden.” In addition, MDI High’s Trojan Trebs Show Choir captured the Division 1 Bronze Award.
Sumner Memorial High School also triumphed, receiving the Division 2 Show Choir Bronze Award for its tender, sassy and swashbuckling twist on “Peter Pan.” Sumner’s Ashley Church, who acted and sang the part of Wendy, received an Outstanding Musicianship Award.
Division 2’s Show Choir Gold Award went to Orono High School for its powerful, original production “Define Me!” about teens breaking the mold and casting off labels. Stearns High’s Unified Harmony Show Choir garnered the Division 2 Silver Award for its “Music and Dance through the Ages.”
Sumner’s show choir director Lisa Blanchette says her students worked tirelessly and performed to the best of their abilities.
“I am most proud of the fact that the students put the show together themselves. They chose what story to tell [“Peter Pan”],” Blanchette said. “And, they chose an alternative way to tell it using pop songs.”
In Division 2, among the competing middle schools, Conners-Emerson and Mount Desert Elementary schools’ combined Show Stoppers won the Division 2 State Title for their “A Little Bit Batty” production featuring the music from Jim Steinman’s new musical “Bat Out of Hell.” The show was directed by Rebecca Edmondson.
In addition, the Trentones shined and won a Silver Award and third place for their performance of selections from the Broadway hit “Tuck Everlasting,” a poignant musical about a girl whose life is turned upside down when she meets an immortal family in the woods.
Mountain View School’s colorful, troll-haired tribe sang their hearts out, garnering an honorable mention, while Peninsula and Ella Lewis schools’ combined show choir charmed the crowd with their “Moana Medley,” receiving an honorable mention.
Among the Division 1 Middle School show choirs, Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School was awarded an honorable mention for its fine singing and fancy footwork in its production featuring music from “The Hunchback.”