On Friday, October 26th, students from 8 schools in the county joined together for the Program for Artistically Advanced Students (PAAS) Vocal Music Festival. To participate in the concert, students had to be in any grade 5-12 and had to be identified in the PAAS program as vocally gifted.

Choir students sing a song for the PAAS concert which they learned earlier that day. Photo by Anna Mitchell.

The students sung six songs, ranging from Can You Hear Me, in which the students signed using a combination of American and British sign language while singing, to One Voice, in which senior Julia Dickey played guitar.

For 8th grader Kevin Meza, the best part was the experience of being able to work with his classmates.

“I learned that singing is important, and so our your friends,” Meza said. “[I really liked] singing and spending time with everyone else. … occasionally the people that are also in PAAS … are your friends.”

Fifth-grader Alyssa Brendal’s favorite song was Seize the Day, from the 2012 Broadway musical Newsies.

Brendal loves the spirit of the song, in which the main characters- the Newsies- rally together to strike against the New York World.

“It shows that you can tell people that you should change something,” Brendal said.

After rehearsing all day and working hard to overcome their age differences and time constraints, the students successfully performed.

Sophomore Makenzie Beaudet particularly appreciated the work that the group put into the performance.

“Groups can all come together and they can sound good, even though that was their first day all coming together,” Beaudet said. “You just have to help all the other kids.”