Pioneer High School’s varsity vocal ensemble, the Titan Tones, recently received its highest honors yet for the group’s vocal performances at the recent WorldStrides Heritage Performance Program’s regional choral festival held in San Francisco.
The Titan Tones took the First Place Gold Award, the Outstanding Choral Group Award Trophy, for achieving the highest score in the choral category for the entire festival; and the Adjudicator's Award Trophy, for receiving a score of 95 percent and above from each of the festival’s judges. In addition, Pioneer students Dalia Cruces and Emilio Valdez each received Solo Maestro Awards for their solo performances.
The ensemble’s award-winning performance earned the group a second invitation to perform in the WorldStrides’ Heritage Performance Program’s Festival of Gold at Carnegie Hall in New York City in April 2013. Last year, the group traveled to New York and received the highest scores at the National Heritage Festival of Gold.
“These are the highest honors we have yet to receive at one event,” said Evan Mooney, director of the Titan Tones and chair of Pioneer High School’s visual and performing arts department. “We are on cloud nine.”
Mooney said that Deke Sharon, a well-known singer, arranger, composer, as well as a vocal producer for the television vocal competition show, “The Voice,” was one of the judges at the event and has offered to arrange a song for the ensemble next year.
“I am more than proud of our Titan Tones,” Mooney said. “I am humbled and honored by our fantastic students.”
“I owe everything to Mr. Mooney; I really want to thank him for everything he’s done for us,” said Emilio Valdez, a senior, who was also one of four Pioneer High School students to be chosen by audition to perform this year in the Southern California Vocal Association Honor Choir and the All-State Honor Choirs.
"We are all so very proud of our Titan Tones and the level of excellence they have achieved," said Whittier Union High School District Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson. "We are also deeply grateful to Evan Mooney for his time, energy and commitment to his students. He is a masterful teacher and choral director who infuses his deep love, knowledge, and appreciation of music and the arts in all that he teaches. He is a true inspiration to his students."
Founded in 1980, WorldStrides Heritage Performance Programs for choir are held throughout the United States and bring together high school musical ensembles to perform and compete for adjudicated rankings based on an international standard.