Fraser Performing Arts Philadelphia Trip


Gabby Tonn

This past month, the Fraser High School Symphony Band, Jazz Band, and Fraser Singers traveled to Philadelphia to compete in the Worldstrides Philadelphia National Festival, it was a successful trip full of competitions, cultural sites, and team bonding.

“The ultimate goal is for the students to have an outstanding educational experience through high-level performances and a cultural experience that expands the students’ worldview,” said Band Director Jim Rodgers. A music department trip is a yearly tradition, with the Marching Band traveling to St. Louis to perform, and the Fraser Singers traveling to Chicago to compete in 2023. 

The first day, April 27th was purely a travel day, with students being on the bus for about twelve hours total, but after arriving at the hotel, the students were able to play games, hang out, and bond as a team. 

It was a great experience, senior Alisha Gentz, a member of symphony band said. “I feel like we were able to bond as a team”.

The following day the eighty-one travelers got to see Philadelphia. Though it was pouring rain, the group traveled to the Adventure Aquarium, took a historical walking tour of the city, and heard ghost stories while sheltering in the bus after a long day.

The third day was the competition day, with the earliest group competing at 8:30 am, and the latest at 3:35.

“A lot goes into producing a successful trip such as daily rehearsals, extra rehearsals, individual practice, and concert performances, as well as organizing rooms, busses, trip itinerary, meals, and every detail of the trip,” continues Mr. Rodgers

Sixty-one students competed in Symphony Band, Jazz Band, Fraser Singers, Chamber Choir, and Symphonic Ensemble, and nineteen students competed with both Singers and the Bands, making the day an especially busy one for them.

“It was a really great experience, we got to see some other awesome groups, and I’m excited to see how we can apply that for next year,” Alisha Gentz said.

Senior Natalie Watson also was awarded the Ovation Award, awarded to just one student in the entire competition “whose contributions to their music program transcends the making of music, and represents the spirit of determination, inspiration, and service to others”.

The Fraser Music Department as a whole also took home several awards. The Symphony Band and Jazz Band took home Gold Ratings and 2nd Place in their respective divisions. The symphony also received the Certificate of Excellence and Invitation to the National “Festival of Gold” Choral and Band Invitational, and the Jazz Band received the Adjudicator Awards Trophy, for receiving an average ranking of more than 92/100.

Symphonic Ensemble, a combined Choir and Band performance also received a gold rating and a certificate of excellence. This ensemble is one in particular that students look forward to every year as it only occurs every other year on the combined choir and band trip, and students were very excited to perform in it.

Trumpeter and vocalist Jacob Paradowski also received a special award- The Maestro Award for excellent musicians in recognition of his Taps solo performance with the symphonic ensemble.

“I am so honored I was able to get the Maestro Award” said Jacob Paradowski. “It was a great experience”.

The Fraser Singers Show Choir also received a gold rating, and the Fraser Singers Chamber Choir received a silver second place for their performance at the festival.

After a long day of performing with most students up by 5:30 am to get ready for their performances, the students got a chance to celebrate their success with an awards banquet and dance. They got a chance to meet kids from other schools, hang out with their friends, and celebrate their year with the Fraser music department.

The trip ended with a long ride home, but it was a great trip of success, and an amazing experience for those involved.