DDHS bands have award-winning trip to Washington D.C.

Looking good, DDHS Band Members! Click pic for more images in our Washington DC trip gallery.

The Delavan-Darien High School band and its members came back from Washington D.C. with quite the haul of award hardware from the World Strides Heritage Festival on April 9.

“Our groups performed very well, and the students represented our community with poise and dignity,” said Nick Stark, DDHS Director of Bands.


Here are some highlights from the music festival, held at John Champe High School in Aldie, Virginia:

  • Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble both earned Silver ratings from the adjudicators.
  • The DDHS bands were awarded the Sweepstakes Award for highest combined score for schools with more than one ensemble performing.
  • Senior saxophonist Melonie Wright won a Maestro Award for outstanding individual performance with the Jazz Ensemble.
  • Junior brass musician Ismael Coello was chosen to receive the festival Ovation Award. The student chosen for this award must be nominated by their director for their leadership, service, and contribution to their music program. Ismael was selected for his participation in the concert band and jazz ensembles in our program, his service as a section leader in marching band, and his willingness to learn tuba and bass trombone to meet the instrumental needs of our bands.
  • Perhaps the proudest moment of the evening came when Delavan-Darien High School (students, staff and chaperones) was awarded the Spirit Award for our overall attitude, respectfulness, and enthusiasm.
  • In addition to these festival accolades, the students were complimented on multiple occasions for their positive behavior and good manners on this trip. We are‪#‎DDCometProud‬ of our band students for sure!

The Washington, D.C., Heritage Festival allows vocal and instrument musicians to perform in a city where history and music come together.

The Heritage Festival was a part of a multi-day tour of Washington D.C. and surrounding areas for the band.

The bands played for and learned from a panel of three music adjudicators who provided written and recorded feedback for each performance. Students also saw a concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and studied with Professor Glenn Dewey of George Mason University and the Marine Corps Band.

The band members also got to tour many of our nation’s historic sites, monuments and museums, including the United States Holocaust Museum, time at Smithsonian museums on the National Mall, the Jefferson Memorial,  Arlington National Cemetery (where they watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns), Vietnam War and Korean War memorials, the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and more!

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