Anaheim, CA – On Saturday, March 10, Fairmont Preparatory Academy’s Concert Band, Concert Choir, and Show Choir dazzled at Disneyland’s Music in the Parks Competition,
bringing home five awards: First Place in High School Band Division, First Place in High School
Mixed Choir Division, First Place in Show Choir Division and Best Overall Choir (Show Choir).
In addition, soprano Megan Brodsky received an Outstanding Vocalist medal for her solo in “Let the River Run,” performed by the Fairmont Prep Concert Choir.
Nearly 20 junior high/senior high schools participated in the Disneyland Music in the Parks Competition held at Western High School in Anaheim. Each school chose its own repertoire and provided musical scores for the judges. Schools were ranked against each other for awards, but
they also received ratings on how well they mastered the musical requirements of a chosen piece. Fairmont Prep’s Concert Band, Concert Choir and Show Choir all received an “excellent” rating
the second highest score possible.
The Prep’s success is all the more remarkable considering Music in the Parks was the
school’s first musical competition. Chair of Fairmont’s Performing Arts Department Adela Stella says, “For our first competition, we are completely blown away with the results! I expected this
year to be a learning year, getting our feet wet, so to speak, so this was an exciting surprise.”
Under the baton of Fairmont’s dynamic new band and choir director, Stacey Barta, the music program is transforming. While Barta has made some structural changes to the program (brass
and woodwind classes became beginning, intermediate, and performance bands), she credits most of the improvements to her teaching methods and range of experience with instruments, voice, theater, and choreography. “By going back to the basics, incorporating them into
everyday warm-ups, and maintaining them through quarterly testing, huge leaps have been made
to improve the quality of musicians in this program,” she explains. “I also like to constantly challenge the students by working on musical literature at least one level higher than their skill level.”
Barta comes to the Prep with a lifetime of experience in music. Her career includes five years
as a member of the United States Marine Band, participation in community choirs and bands, and, most recently, six years teaching music at the middle school and high school level. Her
passion has not gone unnoticed says Stella. “Stacey Barta is an exceptional teacher. When she walked through my door last spring to apply for the teaching position, I knew immediately she would be the person to bring our program to a new level. And has she delivered! She is a motivator, passionate about her art and very talented!”
Stella continues, “Although Fairmont’s primary focus is academic, we provide great opportunities for students who are talented in the fine and performing arts. Our instrumental
‘feeder programs’ at the elementary campuses are where students start their study of the
instruments. Many of our Fairmont kids just naturally have a love for making music.” Both Barta and Stella are working hard to develop the musical program at Fairmont Prep. The next addition
to the program will be the Pep Band, which will begin rehearsing this summer in anticipation of the fall football season.
Thirty-three seventh through twelfth grade students from both Fairmont Prep and Fairmont International Academy participate in the Prep’s Concert Band, Concert Choir and Show Choir. They will give a repeat performance of the Music in the Parks Competition repertoire at their Spring Concert on Tuesday, April 17, at 7:00 p.m. on the Preparatory Academy campus.