Mercer Island High School choirs shine in California festival

The Mercer Island High School Bel Canto Choir and Midnight Blues Jazz Choir traveled to Anaheim, Calif. May 25-27 to perform in a Heritage Festival.

"It was the best choir trip I've ever been on," director Tom Cox, who has taught in the Mercer Island School District for 20 years, said. "It was just awesome."

Both choirs succeeded in their performances, as Bel Canto took third place in its division and Jazz Choir took first.

"I think both groups did an outstanding job," senior choir member Jion Kim said, "and both choirs were very supportive of each other while they performed."

It was the bonding experience the choir members shared with each other that made the trip fun.

"Jazz getting first place was icing on the cake for us," Cox said.

Besides the festival, the choirs spent their free time roaming through Disneyland and made a brief visit to Newport Beach.

"I can't say any specific part of the trip was my favorite because everything was just so much fun," Kim said. "It was definitely a highlight of my senior year."

Cox hopes that trips like this will spur more interest in choir in the younger grades.

"I'm thinking I might take my middle school group to a festival next year, other than our Eastshore Festival," Cox said. "I think it would be a good experience for them. And they'd be able to see some other choirs and what it's like at other schools."

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