WUHS takes first at Music in Parks in Vallejo

May 25—The music department at Wheatland Union High School (WUHS) made some big strides this past weekend at the Music in the Parks event held at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo.

Music in the Parks is an annual competitive festival designed for student choral, orchestral, and band ensembles across the United States. The goal of this event is to broaden the visibility of participating groups and incentivise student learning and motivation. Afterwards, the students and their chaperones are free to enjoy a day at the amusement park.

On Saturday, WUHS competed against several other regional bands and choral groups, coming out on top in each of its prospective categories. Twenty-one students performed in WUHS's choir for the event and 35 more played in its band. The band and choir both took first in the Double A High School Division, a bracket which includes over 750 students. The band won with an Excellent rating and the choir left with the title of Superior. The school's choir was also awarded the competition's "Best Overall" trophy, marking a total of three victories in one day.

"Our Choir has won first place before but I think this was the first time we got 'Best Overall,'" said Dalton McLaughlin, music director for WUHS.

The band's set list included "Catalyst" and "Highlights" from "La La Land" while the choir performed "Once Upon A December" from "Anastasia" and "City of Stars," also from "La La Land."

"The kids asked me a million times to do those songs this year so I was like, 'alright if you're into it I'm into it too,' and I guess that paid off," added McLaughlin with a laugh.

One of Wheatland's choral students, Paige Clements, was very excited for a chance to return to the festival this year.

"Music in the Parks has always been a highlight for me in the realm of choir because we get to meet and talk to other schools and incredibly skilled people in the choral universe," said Clements. "With every awards ceremony, I am left in so much shock and awe because it feels like the amount of dedication and effort I have put into choir has paid off, and I know my 8-year-old self just starting out would be so proud."

Come June, Clements will also be representing California at the National Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) conference in Atlanta. She will be registered in Intro to FBLA and is the only Wheatland Union High School student in the competition this year.