Port Angeles High School choir members are pictured in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the places they performed during a trip to New York City during spring break.

Port Angeles High School choir members are pictured in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the places they performed during a trip to New York City during spring break.

PAHS choir students explore New York while winning awards

PORT ANGELES — Students won awards while creating unique memories when 93 Port Angeles High School Choir students and 33 adults went to New York City during spring break.

The students performed at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and experienced the eight-second delay of sound in the Gothic Cathedral.

They also performed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue.

“For me, personally, this was the finest moment,” said Jolene Dalton Gailey, choral director.

“We had a wonderful audience and the students were extremely well received.”

Students attended two Broadway shows, Dear Evan Hansen and The Phantom of the Opera.

The group sang at the Statue of Liberty, visited the 9/11 Monument and Museum and savored the vistas from the Observatory atop the One World Trade Center.

The 9/11 Museum “made my heart hurt,” one of the students commented to her chaperone.

The six choirs performed in the WorldStrides International Music Festival at Riverside Church.

The results of that competition are as follows:

• Men’s Choir: Gold Award and Adjudicator’s Award for Excellence

• Women’s Choir: Gold Award, First Place in the Women’s Choir Category, and Adjudicator’s Award for Excellence

• Bella Voce: Gold Award, second Place in the Women’s Choir Category

• Vocal Unlimited Jazz: Gold Award, first Place in the Jazz Choir Category

• Symphonic Choir: Gold Award, first Place in the Concert Choir Category

• Vocal Unlimited Chamber Choir: Gold Award

• Emma Weller: Maestro Award for Piano Performance

• Allison Winters: Maestro Award for Vocal Solo

• Jolene Dalton Gailey: The Spirit Of New York Award for Outstanding Music Director

“I am very proud of the choir students,” Gailey said. “Their performances and behavior were impeccable.”

“The students were awed by the power of their voices as they performed in these incredible cathedrals. They were amazing,” said Brooke Hendry, parent chaperone and Choir Booster president .

“I was really impressed with the respect they showed at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Many of them were moved to tears.”

Student reactions

During the flight home, Hendry asked students to talk about their favorite parts of the trip.

Senior Rachel Hendry loved the Broadway shows and winning gold.

“Knowing that all your hard work has paid off, and to sing in three amazing cathedrals. Every one of our choirs won gold. It’s an incredible feeling.”

Betty and Sarah Cameron agreed that the “powerful singing” at Riverside Church was one of their big highlights.

Broadway shows were most memorable for the Cameron sisters, Charlotte Hertel, Sophia Murray and Avery Saul, along with so many other students.

Jaden Gadbaw, Natalie Schmidt and others had fun on the Hudson River Cruise. Juniors Ethan Cameron and Emily Sirguy loved the views from the One World Observatory.

Many of the students enjoyed the opportunity to just explore New York City. Juniors Olivia Nevaril and Simon Close said they enjoyed hanging out on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Central Park.

Raven Sharpe and Sammy Weinert were delighted with the artsy district they found outside of Times Square.

Rachel Hendry, Camryn Mason, Emily Rygaard and Kiara West had fun exploring the Underground Market at the Columbus Circle subway station.

Seniors Charles Krause and Madelynne Jones even got to tickle the ivories at the Steinway Piano store near Times Square.

“These are wonderful, talented, fantastic kids. We were in awe of their powerful sound performing in these incredible venues,” said Jason Gooding, another parent chaperone.

“The echoes through the cathedrals — amazing.”

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