Annual Caroling Competition delights holiday music lovers
Holiday music lovers enjoyed the sounds of the season at the 26th annual Caroling Competition, which featured school choirs performing on the steps of the 550 Biltmore Way Building in Coral Gables.
Presented again by Holtz Children’s Hospital, the competition was held Wednesday, Nov. 28, and continued through Sunday, Dec. 2. Winning choirs returned Tuesday evening, Dec. 4, for a short program and to accept their awards.
Twenty-two choirs from middle and senior high schools (public and private) in Miami-Dade and Broward counties competed for approximately $20,000 cash awards. This year’s winners:
Middle School Full Choir
Grand prize (tie): Florida Christian School, South Miami Middle School
Honorable mention: Gulliver Academy
Middle School Small Ensemble
Runner-up: St. Thomas the Apostle School
Senior High Full Choir
Grand prize: Coral Reef Senior High School
Runner-up: Everglades Senior High School
Honorable mention (tie): Coral Gables Senior High School and Ronald Reagan Doral Senior High School
Senior High Small Ensemble
Grand prize: Florida Christian School
Honorable Mention: Archbishop Curly Notre Dame
Senior High Show Choir
Grand prize: Hialeah Senior High School
Continuo Arts Newcomer
St. Thomas the Apostle School
Rotary Music Award
South Miami Middle School
Organized and produced by the Merrick Festival, the competition was made possible through the support of 25 local foundations, municipal organizations, corporations and local businesses, and with the support of the Coral Gables Cultural Development Board and Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs.
In addition to Holtz Children’s Hospital, the 2012 title sponsor, other sponsors included Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables, Finser Corp., Cartier International, Publix Supermarkets, Rotary Club of Coral Gables and Waste Management. In the spirit of the season, Yamaha Music Center provided the red piano for the schools’ accompanists.
Judges for this year’s competition were:
• Antonio “Tony” Arroyo, member of several choirs who participated in numerous competitions throughout the country.
• Yvonne Barclay, a multifaceted musician who played with the Ibanez Chamber Music Group, the Miami Symphony and the Orquestral Cuzco
• Judie Berger, who taught music in Miami-Dade Public Schools for 20 years and was inducted into the Music Educators’ Association Hall of Fame
• Coreen Duffy, who serves on the musicology faculty at the University of Miami Frost School of Music and is completing her doctor of musical arts degree from USC.
• Kevin Rutledge, three-time Teacher of the Year who has served as director of the Inner City Children’s Choir and the Greater Miami Boy’s Choir and is music director for the Universal Truth Center
• Adele de los Santos, a competition judge since 1992 and a Miami-Dade Public Schools teacher for 34 years
• Charles Vitale, who taught music and science in Miami-Dade Public Schools for 35 years before retiring in 2011
• Teresita Wessels, who participated in musical events and with children’s choruses in South Africa, Mexico, Nigeria, New York and Holland and is a member of the choir at St. Thomas the Apostle Church.