Mustangs Hit All The Right Notes On Their Trip To Orlando

From April 19-23, the Marriotts Ridge Music Department competed in the WorldStrides On-Stage Music Festival at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Public and private schools from all over the country participated in this music festival. Even with this tough competition, Marriotts Ridge ensembles were still able to receive numerous awards and high praise from the adjudicating panel. Students and the music staff reflect on their performances and the time they spent in Orlando.
Many students were satisfied with their performances and had a great time showing the audience the hard work and dedication they had been putting into their respective ensembles.
“I think I was happy with my individual performance and I think the band did really well,” senior and oboe player Emma Donahoe said. “There were some things that came up that could’ve thrown us for a loop—like someone got a bloody nose and the stage was freezing—but we pushed through and did a really good job.”
Other students shared this sentiment and agreed that although improvements could’ve been made, they were happy with their performances as a whole.
“I thought the performances were good, honestly,” senior and choir member Kelly Maclean said. “There were little things that we could’ve done better, but overall we did good.”
The music directors were very impressed with the students’ performances as well, and were proud of them for putting their best foot forward.
“I thought the students really brought their A-game all across the board,” choir director Mr. Rawlings said. “It’s hard to do though because you’re exhausted and it’s an all-day adventure. It starts really, really early and ends late at night, so it’s difficult to keep your energy and focus going the whole time, but the students pulled through.”
There were also solo awards for outstanding individual achievement that were handed out to multiple students. Emma Donahoe, one of the recipients of this award, talked about her experience and her reaction to receiving it.
“I was so honored to win the oboe soloist award,” Donahoe said. “I wasn’t expecting it at all. I didn’t even know they did soloist awards, so I was really happy.”
Two senior choir students, Jadyn Kelly and Aruna Subramaniam, delivered a special sign language performance while singing one of their choir pieces. They both received a soloist award, and were commended for their unique and noteworthy performance.
“I was actually really surprised when we won,” Kelly said. “I wasn’t expecting to even be up for that award and it’s not something I even considered… It was very exciting and Aruna and I were very happy because we did put a lot of work into it. One of my co-workers graduated as a deaf studies major from Towson so I worked with her on sign language because the interpretations of sign language are very different from what a lot of people think. It’s not a direct translation from English, so we put a lot of work into that.”
“It felt so amazing to win the soloist award, we put so much hard work into this piece, so it feels very nice to be recognized,” Subramaniam said. “Jadyn and I are President and Vice President of the American Sign Language club at MRHS, so we took on the task of learning the sign language for this piece… We worked with the Mustang Chorale to teach everyone the sign language, and thankfully everyone felt just as passionate about this piece and put in the work to practice till it was right. I’m very grateful to have ended my senior year on this incredible piece.”
While on the trip, students made many fun memories and had a great time exploring the Universal Studios Parks. Junior and violin player Erica Qin discussed her favorite moments on the trip.
“I really loved the rides of course,” Qin said. “Normally, I hate waiting in long lines, but being able to talk with friends during the wait made it better. I also got close with a lot of people I normally wouldn’t have been able to talk to, and I had a lot of fun just hanging out with my friends.”
The Music Department had a successful and enjoyable time down in Orlando, Florida, and both students and teachers appreciated the time they were able to take off.