HCA earns top awards at prestigious international festival

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Young musicians and vocalists from Heritage Christian Academy won two of the top awards at the prestigious Netherlands Festival of Music April 6, along with five gold and silver standards for their performances.

The 85 Grade 10-12 students from Heritage competed in Band, Choir, Jazz Band, Vocal Jazz and Percussion Ensemble, earning awards in every area from renowned adjudicators including Johan De Meij, who composed the Lord of the Rings Symphony.

The Jazz Band received the Best of Holland Award for top overall score in the instrumental category while the Vocal Jazz group earned Best of Holland for the top overall score in vocal category.

The Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz earned gold standard.

The Concert Band, Choir and Percussion Ensemble each earned silver standards.

The HCA students were invited to the Netherlands festival on the heels of success at other international competitions, including Anaheim, Chicago, Vancouver and Orlando. The school has now been invited to participate in the Worldstrides Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York.

International competitions are part of a three-year tour rotation within the HCA secondary music program under the direction of Torrance Airhart. Students fundraise to cover the cost of tours in partnership with the school’s Music Parents Association.

“At HCA, our music program offers our students tremendous opportunities to develop and demonstrate their gifts at competitions and in ministry,” said HCA Principal Ryan Brennan, who accompanied the tour to the Netherlands. “The program and tours like this one create learning opportunities that cannot be offered in a classroom. While the successes at competitions are awesome, it is the learning and the collaboration that happens before and during music tours that is critical. Of course, none of this could happen without the dedicated teachers, staff, volunteers and students that work so hard to make it all happen.”