Education

Fresno students went to Washington DC to sing in a national competition. They came back winners

See Bullard Talent’s award-winning concert choir perform

The middle school choir from Bullard Talent returned from a competition in Washington D.C. where they were judged against high schools across the nation and won top honors.
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The middle school choir from Bullard Talent returned from a competition in Washington D.C. where they were judged against high schools across the nation and won top honors.

Middle schoolers from Bullard Talent K-8 School in Fresno competed against choirs from all over the country in Washington, D.C., last week, taking home top honors from the WorldStrides OnStage Music Festival.

The students, from grades 6-8, won the Sweepstakes Award for highest combined scores, while the school’s concert choir – competing against high schoolers – earned the title of “Outstanding Choral Group” and an invitation to compete in a future festival. Eighth-grader Nick Sterling was recognized with a Maestro Award for his solo performance.

The Bullard Talent concert and showcase choir members are frequent flyers, traveling annually to competitions across the country. Bullard Talent sends as many as 175 students to some statewide festivals that involve instrumental as well as choral performances, but approximately 100 students went to D.C. this time around.

Jane Wagner, who directs the showcase choir, said travel is something students look forward to every year. These trips may be the only opportunity to travel for some students from impoverished backgrounds, according to Wagner. The choir has been fundraising for the trip since August.

“We try to go to destinations that are vastly different from Fresno,” Wagner said. “It’s an opportunity to see parts of the world they may have never seen.”

The festival in D.C. also tied into the middle school history curriculum, and offered the kids valuable lessons in learning to travel and handle money without their parents’ help, Wagner said.

“It’s learning in many different ways,” Wagner said.

Aleksandra Appleton covers schools for the Fresno Bee. She grew up in Fresno before attending UC San Diego and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.


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