Escorted by the flashing lights of a cruiser from the Iowa State Patrol and serenaded by the sounds of a fire truck siren, Glenwood’s Rhapsody in Gold Jazz Choir returned home victorious last Wednesday from the Iowa Jazz Championships in Waverly.
Qualifying for the state championships for only the second time in school history, Glenwood came away from the competition at Wartburg College with the No. 1 rating and state championship trophy for Class 3A.
“It’s exciting to be selected for the Iowa Jazz Championships, but to win it is amazing,” Glenwood Community High School (GCHS) vocal music director Kay Fast said. “It’s very impressive just to see the level of excellence it takes just to get there.”
The GCHS Jazz Choir performed three selections at state - “I’ve Got The World On A String,” “Amazing Grace,” and “On A Clear Day.” Eleven choirs representing eight schools competed in the Class 3A division, including three-time defending state champion Solon.
“We came into the competition knowing we were up against a three-time reigning champ,” GCHS senior Ryan Hansen said. “We were the third group to perform. After our performance, we were all smiling and enjoying the thought that we did fantastic.”
In 2011, Glenwood’s only other performance at the state championships, the choir came in fourth place. Hansen said the goal this year was to top last year’s finish.
“We had some challenging music and we heard some very good groups perform throughout the day. They announced the final ratings from the bottom, so when they got to No. 5, we knew we at least matched last year’s showing. As soon as they announced second place (Solon), we couldn’t have cheered any louder.”
Finishing behind Glenwood in the Class 3A competition were runner-up Solon, third-place Center Point - Urbana and fourth place Dallas Center - Grimes,
In addition to winning the Class 3A championship, several members of the Glenwood choir were recognized for their individual performances.
Sydney Embray, Hanna Ringsdorf, Evan Gammon, Ebon Hackett, and Ryan Hansen received outstanding soloist awards.
Hackett was selected as the outstanding male performer for Class 3A.