Music Department Achieves Goals at Annual Festival Disney


On April 11-14, Coginchaug’s music groups, directed by Mr. Tim Fisher and Ms. Erin Schilling, competed in Festival Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The four ensembles were the Concert and Jazz bands and the Concert and Chamber choirs. All groups did phenomenal and improved immensely from where they begun; however, the biggest winner was the Chamber Choir, with a superior rating, and a Best in Class placement, also receiving the Gold Award for all specialty choirs for the entire festival.

 Chamber rehearsed for months, preparing three challenging pieces, immersing themselves in the music and learning the feel and the emotions needed.

 Senior Emmy Dell’Orfano explained, “I got into the emotion of the two pieces. My high D at the end of [the song] ‘Desh’ sounded good.”

Coginchaug’s trophies they received.

Concert Choir also received a superior rating and the Best in Class award for their ensemble. Long work was needed for the successes achieved. Some members of the choir were also in Coginchaug’s musical just the week before. At the festival, where they performed at 9 p.m. after a day of running around, they were able to pull off this success.

 Freshman Rebecca Tobin said, “I’m very happy…It was a great experience, and the whole choir did amazing.”

The choir featured a solo by sophomore Amalia DeMartino and a trio including DeMartino, freshman Ava Dell’Orfano, and senior Emma Bournival.

 Jazz Band got second in class, and they did receive a superior rating. They are the only ensemble who practices after school who competed at Disney, which gave them a huge time commitment. They also competed right after Concert Band, which the entire band competed with, but they were still able to focus and get into the mood of the music.

 Senior trombone player Joe Venables said, “We had a good performance, and I’m happy. There was a good vibe in the room, and we took our performance to another level. There’s always things to improve on; Mr. Fisher is a great musician, and he can help us improve.”

Multiple members of Jazz Band had solos, including seniors Julia Kaliszewski on the alto saxophone, Sierra Astle on the trumpet, and Sam St. John on the piano.

Concert Band finished third in class and a rating of excellent; however, they were 0.3 points off of a superior rating, and only two points separated the top three ensembles. The ensemble put in hard work, and they improved immensely.

 “We had many strong, experienced, and talented musicians graduate, but nonetheless a very talented group of freshmen came in,” said band captain Kimlyn Vo. “Rehearsing these past few months, the progression is noticeable. We’re a whole different group from when we started.”

They put great work into the music, performing a piece that wowed all the judges and the audience. The song, “Undertow” by John Mackey included a percussion feature, which included major parts from junior Jared Munro on the timpani and senior Colin Kelly on the toms.

 All four ensembles competed against schools as far from Coginchaug as Puerto Rico and Nevada and also as close as Cromwell.

All the ensembles also received a clinic with one of the judges for each competition. The judges, all professors at the collegiate level, came from schools including the University of Notre Dame, UNC Greensboro, and the University of West Virginia. 

The group in front of the Magic Kingdom train station

 The group also visited all four of Disney’s theme parks, trying out multiple attractions. Group favorites included Soarin’ in Epcot, Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, and Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom. Coginchaug’s next musical competition they will attend will be in 2021, with the location to be determined.


Photos by Brian Falcone and the author