NSU Middle Lab School Orchestra Wins Gold at Disney World Music Festival


The N.S.U. Middle Lab School Orchestra competed at Festival Disney in Orlando, Fla. March 31 – April 1. Festival Disney is the premiere international music festival where seventy-five orchestras, bands and choirs performed with hopes of winning one of the coveted Mickey Mouse trophies.

The Middle Lab Orchestra consisted of 56 string orchestra members from grades 6-8. They were accompanied by 70 chaperones, siblings and Lab School Orchestra Director Katrice LaCour.  The group performed at the Ballroom of the Americas at the Disney’s Contemporary Resort and was evaluated by three adjudicators.

The panel consisted of Prof. Joseph Hermann Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Tennessee Tech University, Dr. Alexander Jiménez, Professor of Conducting and Director of Orchestras at The Florida State University and Dr. Catherine Rand Director of Bands at The University of Southern Mississippi. Festival Disney Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are presented to the three highest superior-rated ensembles within their division at the awards ceremony held at the end of the festival.

The Lab School Orchestra was the only middle school orchestra attending so they were moved up to the High School orchestra division.  The awards ceremony was later that evening and there were three Orchestras that scored superior ratings.

The Middle Lab had the highest score, 97.3 percent, of all orchestras but were not included in the playoff round due to a classification error. The Gold Award was given to 3A Centennial High School High School with a composite score of 93.3 percent.

After the ceremony LaCour contacted the Festival Disney Team with concerns about an error he saw in classification on the composite score sheet. Festival coordinators agreed, apologized for the error and corrected the mistake. The coveted 1st place Gold Mickey Mouse Trophy was overnighted to Middle Lab where it now sits in their orchestra trophy case.

Centennial H.S. was able to keep their Gold Trophy as well due to the mix up. The orchestra returned home exhausted but ready for school Monday morning. LaCour invites everyone to Magale Recital Hall on the NSU Campus to hear this award winning group Thursday, May 11 starting at 5:30 pm.

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