Choral Award Goes to Durham’s Riverside High School

April 13, 2010, Durham, NC: Sirens, a women’s ensemble at Riverside High School in Durham, has won the Triangle Youth Chorus Trophy for 2010. The group and Choral Director Jill Boliek received the award at a surprise presentation during class on April 13. The Triangle Youth Chorus Trophy is given each spring to a school choir in Wake, Durham, Orange or Chatham County. In 2009, it began alternating between middle and high schools. The purpose is to encourage and promote choral singing in the public schools, and to recognize the achievements of local youth ensembles and music educators.

The Trophy, an inventive metal sculpture by North Carolina artist Lyle Estill, comes with a $750 cash grant for the winning director to use for the choir or school music department; a $300 credit toward music purchases at Hinshaw Music Company; a professional recording session by Mark Manring Recording and Photography; and Trophy T-shirts for the singers.

Sirens, led by Jill Boliek since 2004, is an auditioned honors choir; most of this year’s 39 members are juniors and seniors. The group has performed at local and regional concerts and national choral competitions, consistently receiving highest ratings. Under Mrs. Boliek’s guidance, Sirens have formed the core of a model “inclusive choir,” in collaboration with the nonprofit organization, Voices Together; this ensemble involves a dozen students with physical and mental disabilities who rehearse regularly and perform with Sirens.

Sirens and three other Trophy finalists – Middle Creek (Apex) Choral Ensemble, Michael Gilliam, director; Fuquay-Varina Chamber Choir, Ruth McCoy, director; Panther Creek (Cary) Chamber Choir, Brad Bensen, director – will be featured on the April 18 segment of WCPE’s Sunday morning “Great Sacred Music” program, starting at 9:00 a.m. Each of the groups also will receive a master class by one of the area’s most distinguished choral conductors.

An Advisory Board of choral directors, reviewers and singers selects the annual winner. Along with musical excellence, they consider other accomplishments, such as a choir’s impact on members, the school and the community. Board members are Lance Buhl, Buhl & Associates; Lori O’Keefe, Triangle Community Foundation; Scott Hill, Durham Children’s Choir; Ken Hoover, WCPE; John Lambert, Classical Voice of North Carolina; Fran Page, Capital City Girls Choir/Meredith College; Carol Robbins, TriangleSings!; Leandra Strope, Sisters’ Voices; and Al Sturgis, North Carolina Master Chorale. Directors of the most recent Trophy-winning choruses, Diane Covington and Laura Delauney, joined the board for the current year.

This year’s initiative is supported by TriangleSings!, Hinshaw Music Company, Walton Music Corporation, Youth Pro Musica Fund of Triangle Community Foundation, Sally K. Albrecht, and Jay Althouse. Photographic and recording services are donated by Mark Manring. Area music directors volunteer to provide master classes.

Previous winners were Durham School of the Arts Chorale, directed by Scott Hill, 2004; Jesse O. Sanderson High School (Raleigh) Sandpipers, Marshall Butler, 2005; Enloe High School (Raleigh) Chamber Choir, Ann Huff, 2006; C. E. Jordan High School (Durham) Jordansound, Joe Lupton, 2007; Leesville Road High School (Raleigh) Capital Pride, Diane Covington, 2008; Durham School of the Arts Advanced Middle School Chorus, Laura Delauney, 2009.

For photos and sound clips provided by Mark Mannring Recording, Inc., click here.

(Press release provided by TriangleSings!)