MILLINOCKET — Teens hailing from northern, central and eastern Maine put on a memorable, mesmerizing show for family, friends, teachers, classmates and local residents last weekend at the 2016 State Vocal Jazz Festival.
For the grand sum of $5, the audience was treated to nonstop quality entertainment, whether it was Somerset Valley Middle School’s booted cowboys and cowgirls belting out and line-dancing to “Cotton Eyed Joe” and other Western standards or Pemetic School’s shimmering, Brazilian-inspired show featuring gifted vocalist Quentin Pileggi and other singers as well as a fine back-up band.
Comprising a dozen Maine high schools and 18 middle schools from as far away as Orono and Presque Isle, the two-day finals yielded several Hancock County wins.
Mount Desert Island High School won first place for the fifth straight year while Ellsworth High School’s Show Choir scooped up second, taking home a Gold Award for its 1-rated performance of “Let It Go,” “Frozen Heart” and other hits from the 2013 movie “Frozen.” Rebecca Wright directed while Jasmine Ireland choreographed the show.
Wright praised the newly established EHS Treble Choir and its “Disney Princess” performance Saturday.
“They did a great job,” she said, noting how the choir members had developed their musical and theatrical skills since school began.
Among the participating middle schools, Orono’s Riot Sound won first while Stearns Middle School took second while third place and a Gold Award (1 rating) went to Trenton Elementary School’s captivating performance of tunes from “Newsies The Musical” and other shows. Mary de Koning directed and choreographed that show.
In addition, both Southwest Harbor’s Pemetic School and the Dr. Louis S. Libby School in Machias picked up Gold Awards (1 rating) for their performances. Lewis Libby students Maddy Reading and Noelle Stoneman received Outstanding Musicianship Awards.
While they may not have brought home trophies, Sumner Memorial High School and Peninsula, Mountain View and Ellsworth Elementary-Middle school show choirs sang their hearts out and charmed the audience.
Lisa Blanchette directed the Peninsula, Mountain View and Sumner Memorial show choirs.
“I am very proud of them,” she said. “They did their best performance and they all have improved so much over the past year.”