GDRHS Music Sweeps Competition for Third Year in a Row

posted May 12, 2011, 8:09 AM by GDarts Boosters
For the third year in a row, Groton Dunstable Regional High School “music kids” and their teacher/conductor, Tim Savoy, returned from their annual music competition with all of the 1st place trophies in every major category in which they competed: Concert Band, Jazz Band, Mixed Chorus, and Chamber Choir, as well as the Best Overall trophy, which was awarded to the Concert Band.

After sweeping the competition at last year’s Music Showcase Festival in Philadelphia, and the Chamber Choir winning the overall Grand Sweepstakes Award with an almost perfect score, this year’s students chose to ratchet up the competition by entering the Music in the Parks competition in New York City. That put them up against 22 schools, including many larger than GDRHS, and some private schools that specialize in music.

Three bus loads of students showed up the high school at 5:30am last Thursday to depart for the competition. While they were in New York, they got to see a few sights, and attend some Broadway shows. A number of students chose to hear to some of the finest at the Birdland Jazz Cafe.

During the competition on Friday, each ensemble performed two pieces. They were judged on technical criteria including: intonation, rhythmic accuracy, technical accuracy, diction, interpretation of music, balance of vocal parts and overall performance. Everyone thought they had done well, but they didn’t learn the results until Saturday night. The celebration kicked into full gear back at the hotel, where the kids managed to get Savoy to jump in the pool. Parents mostly found out when Facebook was flooded with posts along the lines of “WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON!”

GD Champions returning from NY competition

The two students who won individual medals were in disbelief. “I was not expecting that award at all... I was absolutely shocked,” said sophomore, Bryce Tuppa, who won Best Accompanist for his performance on djembe. He went on to say “The chorus did a wonderful job, and helped me obtain that medal.” Senior George Killian, who won Best Instrumentalist for his flute performance in the jazz band, also credited his fellow musicians, saying “I was in disbelief, because the other soloists were just as passionate for their solos. A key thing for me was the rhythm section. [Drummer] Jack Liebold knew how to work with me and make my solo sound great.”

Any student at GDRHS can sign up for the chorus or concert band class. So, having those groups consistently win regional competitions attests to the high quality of instruction in GD High School’s music program, which is taught by a single teacher, Tim Savoy. Students have to audition for a place in the Chamber Choir, which is the honors-level vocal class. Interest in Chamber has grown so much over the past several years that 40-50 students audition each year for the 24 positions in the choir. Students are also required to audition to join the jazz band, which Savoy teaches as an after school activity, because there is no room in the regular schedule for a jazz band class. He also conducts the Pep Band, works with students wishing to try out for the District and All State chorus and band, and works with Music Honors Society as after school activities. Savoy also allows students who are not enrolled in music for the spring semester to attend after-school band and chorus sessions, so they can participate in the competition. Needless to say, Savoy is dedicated to instilling a passion for music in students at GD, and in response, students are inspired to perform to the best of their abilities.

Trey Durst, President of the Music Honor’s Society, summed up the students’ view of the program, saying: “Music is our passion. It's how we communicate and express ourselves to our peers. At GD we are encouraged to indulge in that passion, which fosters relationships and character traits that will define us for the rest of our lives. I am proud and honored to be a part of this program.”

Everyone is invited to hear the GDRHS students perform their competition pieces and more at their Spring Concert on Thursday, May 19, at 7:00pm at the Performing Arts Center on the GD Middle School campus. Additional information regarding the program and GD Arts student activities can be found at