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Ensemble trip more than musical performance

With one of the most prolific choral conductors in the world as adjudicator, Azusa Pacific will host a Southern California Christian high school music festival.

Each high school participating in the festival will receive the opportunity to perform their pieces on stage while Weston Noble records his verbal critique.

Weston will then come on stage and work with each group and give feedback, contesting high schools will also receive a DVD of their performance.

Weston is the Barry Bonds of choir minus the steroids,? Aaron Bryan, choir director, said. ?No, but really, he will be extremely helpful and it will give us a chance to hear from the best what ensemble is doing right and what we can improve on.?

Members of Ensemble will depart for the Azusa Pacific festival on March 23 at 10 A.M. The festival will be held at Azusa Pacific University at 7 P.M.

Only a few high school choirs from California will be involved in a once in a lifetime opportunity. Chaffy High, Eastside Christian, Wilson High, and Jurupa Valley will present, along with the ensemble members from Fresno Christian.

?It is a good opportunity to be able to hear other high school choirs,? Bryan said. ?And just being able to spending time together as a group.?

The music festival will not only provide opportunities for growth but will also prepare members for other upcoming performances.

?I was looking for a festival to go to with ensemble to prepare us for the Heritage Festival in Colorado,? Bryan said. ?It made it an easy decision because Weston Noble is such an esteemed clinician and being at Azusa, a Christian school will be even better.?

Ensemble members will also volunteer their time at The Dream Center, an organization that reaches out to those in poverty, helping in the MetroKidz Club on March 24.

?I am so excited to work with kids,? Erin Elmore, ?06, said. ?It will be a neat experience to invest in the kids lives instead of just spending our free time shopping or something.?

Students expect the trip to be a bonding experience where the group can grow in musical ability and relationships.

?I hope that the students will come away inspired by what Weston has to say,? Bryan said. ?And they will be encouraged to work even harder to reach a higher level.?

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