The national accolades keep coming for the Southeast Bulloch High School Choral Program. Brent Whitaker and his students topped all the participating AA through AAAA-sized choirs in Disney's National Performing Arts Competition in Orlando, March 23-25, by winning the event's overall Gold trophy and claiming the Best-In-Class award in their AA Mixed Choir division.
"We won it all, competing against schools more than twice our size," said Whitaker, chairman of the school's Fine Arts Department and choral director. "We went as a AA Mixed Choir, based on Disney's entry categories, and we rated an overall Superior Rating, which is the highest." Whitaker was pleased with his students noting that they sang three extremely difficult songs for the judges. Judges for these events include distinguished collegiate music educators from some of the country's leading vocal education programs such as Temple University, the University of Michigan, Auburn University, the University of Florida and Rollins College.
This particular Disney competitive music festival featured 27 choirs from around the United States. According to Disney, it hosts these events to help vocal groups achieve performance excellence. They also host similar events for concert bands, jazz ensembles, marching bands, orchestras, and vocal ensembles. Disney's Performing Arts events for students are endorsed by the National Association for Music Education and the GRAMMY Foundation. The events adhere to national performing arts standards as well.
The Choral Program at SEBHS features an Advanced Chorus, a Women's Chorus, and a Concert Chorus. The Choral Program's students are consistently selected as some of the state's premier vocalists for the Georgia Music Educators Association's All-State Chorus and All-State Reading Chorus. Many go on to be part of collegiate choral programs as well. Actively sought after for events and known for its standing-room only performances, one of the SEBHS Choral Program's most notable recent accomplishments was a Superior-Rated performance at Carnegie Hall as part of a Choirs of America Nationals competition.