Music courses perform at annual music festival in Anaheim


Burroughs Music Teachers Brian Cosner and Amber Petersen (front, center left) jgather with their collective groups at Disneyland following their World Strides Performing Arts Festival performances.

Emma Kimbler, Editor-in-Chief

The Burroughs music groups found themselves at the happiest place on earth last weekend, and they had plenty of reason to smile.
Band, orchestra and choir students attended the World Strides Performing Arts Festival in Anaheim this weekend.
At the festival, each music group was graded based on how well they performed together. Burroughs competed in the most competitive division of 3A and were against schools from Nevada, Arizona, California, and even Alaska.
“The bands really put their best foot forward and delivered some of their best performances and really shined,” said Band Director Brian Cosner. “The clinician feedback was very positive, the critiques were well received, and this experience is going to help our students grow as musicians. I’m enormously impressed with how all of our groups performed, considering the hectic travel. A handful of our students had the school band concert the night before and went on to perform with multiple ensembles in the festival.”
Assistant Drum Major Donnell Dunlap was thrilled at the opportunity to perform with the band and receive constructive criticism from professional musicians.
“The band did fantastic during the festival!” said Dunlap. “I would say that we had one of our best performances this year.”
The event gave Dunlap an opportunity to test the growth he’s experienced as a musician and to prepare for the future.
“Through the years I have been slowly building confidence in my musical ability, and now I feel like I have truly found confidence in my musical ability,” said Dunlap. “I can now transfer that confidence towards leading the band this coming year.”
After performing their musical pieces, the two band classes were presented with their scores: Cadet Band received a Bronze rating and third place in their category, while Symphonic Band received a Silver rating and second place in their category.
The Chamber and Concert Orchestras additionally had success in their festival performances. After much hard work and performing, both Orchestra groups were awarded with Gold ratings and first place in their divisions.
The Concert Choir and Madrigals both received Silver ratings and second place in their divisions.
Choir member Loralie McArtor said she was honored to participate with her peers in the festival.
“This experience was definitely life-changing and changed my whole perspective on music,” McArtor said. “It helped me to realize more closely what we need to improve on.”
Orchestra and Choir teacher Amber Petersen was pleased with her students’ performance and their dedication towards music.
“I was so proud of my students for having their best performances to date for our program’s first festival season since Covid!” Petersen said. “They did fantastic work and represented BHS well. We were even selected from all schools to receive the “Spirit” award.”
According to Band Director Brian Cosner, the Spirit Award goes to one school whose students demonstrate an outstanding level of excitement, and whose interactions with each other, their directors and festival staff stands out for consistent positivity.
“The emcee shared that Burroughs musicians loaned instruments to other programs, adjusted to multiple last-minute scheduling changes, and never lost their positive attitudes,” said Cosner.
The Stage Band will be traveling Saturday, May 13 to perform at the River City College Jazz Festival.