The Sheboygan North High Concert Choir and Northern Lights vocal ensemble recently traveled to our nation's capital to share their gifts of music with the citizens of the District of Columbia. Along the way, they picked up many pictures, many souvenirs and most of all, some unforgettable memories of the time and talents they were able to share. Some key sights seen by the groups included the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Smithsonian Museums, the Kennedy Center, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Choirs from North High were selected to perform by audition with Music Celebrations, International. As a result of the audition both groups were selected to perform as part of the 2011 National Festival of States commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. Scheduled performances included the Navy Memorial, which was rained out and moved to the National Building Museum, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
In addition to the scheduled performances there were many impromptu performances that occurred while sightseeing. When asked if she had any thoughts regarding the group performances, senior Ali Jacobson said, "The audiences' responses to our impromptu performances were more than I would have ever expected, and they were incredibly rewarding for us as musicians." Locations such as the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial and the Kennedy Center were perfect spots for the group to share their music and grab the attentions of captivated audience members. The impromptu performance given at the Iwo Jima memorial was a particularly moving experience because a World War II veteran in the audience was struck with overwhelming emotion and tears. This in turn made the performance that much more moving for members of the groups from North High School.
Emotions such as those invoked by particularly touching experiences helped to induce a taste of real-life education for the choir students of North High School. The performance at the National Museum of the Marine Corps was another intensely moving experience for the choir members. According to senior Corin Menuge, "The vast open space in the rotunda of the museum was perfect for performance, and being able to perform show choir pieces in this space seemed fitting because it was representative of how the Marines spent their free time away from the harsh conditions of war." When all was said and done, and the bus was packed and ready to head home, the singers could easily say that they were the good kind of exhausted. Performing at a high level of musicality during many meaningful performances, they returned home enriched with a sense of pride and gratitude in everything they had been able to accomplish while representing their city and school.