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Bringing home the gold

| Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Connellsville Elementary All-Star Chorus may be young -- but its members know how to sing.

The chorus shined recently when it participated in the "Music in the Parks" competition held in Richmond, Va.

The group brought home three awards.

Members of the chorus who attended the trip brought home the Junior High Middle School Award. The award was presented to the Connellsville group after it earned the highest score in its age group.

"Later, after looking at all of the scores, I realized that we had the highest overall choral score. It was higher than any of the other schools, including high schools," said Marsha Brady, the All-Star Chorus director.

The chorus scored a superior rating in the Middle School Treble Choir competition, and took the Esprit de Corps Award.

"The Esprit de Corps Award is based on behavior and discipline. This is where they bring the big guns out, and we were able to win," Brady said.

Jimmy Peperak, a sixth-grade student at Dunbar Township Elementary, was one of the students chosen to go on stage to receive the trophy. "It was really cool because this year we won. I like having the extra challenge of singing in the competition," Peperak said.

After the competition, the students were able to relax, taking in the attractions at Kings Dominion Park.

Miranda Hosfelt, a fifth-grade student at Connellsville Township Elementary, said, "It was fun because we won three first-place trophies."

This is the 13th year that the Connellsville Elementary All-Star Chorus has participated in the "Music in the Parks" competition.

Students in the chorus are selected from all of the Connellsville elementary schools. "The students must audition at the end of fourth grade to be in the chorus, and then they are in the chorus for fifth and sixth grades," Brady said.

The 65 students who are in the chorus practice for two hours every Monday night, preparing for their Christmas and spring concerts. Brady said that the "Music in the Parks" competition is the chorus' only large competition of the year.

"The trip is sort of an extra bonus for the students, but it is completely optional," Brady said.

Students who participated in the trip participated in fundraisers in order to help defray the costs of the trip.

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