Livermore High School wins national music festival

Livermore High music ensembles and educators after their big wins at the 2024 WorldStrides OnStage Heritage Festival in Anaheim, Calif. on March 24, 2024. (Livermore High School via Bay City News)

Some Livermore students are celebrating after taking the top prize in a music competition featuring musicians from around the nation.   

Music students from Livermore High School won the 2024 WorldStrides OnStage Heritage Festival music competition in late March. The festival brings together young musicians to offer mentorship, education and competition.   

The school's musicians traveled to Anaheim in Southern California to compete against 35 ensembles from seven different states and came away with the competition's top honor for comprehensive music program excellence, the Festival Sweepstakes Award.   

"When you listen to their performances, it's hard not to be blown away by the talent of our students," said Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District Superintendent Chris Van Schaack. "Livermore High has built an incredible music program, and the results of this competition are a reflection of the dedication, commitment, and strive for excellence that our music students and educators share."     

Justin Enright, Livermore High's music teacher and visual and performing arts department chair, along with vocal music teacher Brendan Lodge, worked on perfecting musical pieces with their students for several months in advance of the WorldStrides competition. 

After two days of competition, Livermore's band, orchestra, and choir ensembles earned 23 combined awards in a variety of categories, including six individual solo awards, and the Instrumental and Festival Sweepstakes Awards.     

Livermore High students received six of eleven Maestro Awards given for outstanding solo performances at a competition in Anaheim, Calif. on March 23, 2024. (Livermore High School via Bay City News)

"The students performed with passion and excitement," said Enright. "Multiple adjudicators mentioned that what they most appreciated about our students was their undeniable love for music. That's all we can ask for!"   

Prior to their competitive performances, students had the opportunity to attend mentoring sessions with music professors from the University of California, Irvine. Ensembles were able to perform and receive feedback during these sessions.   

Yeonjun Kim, 12th-grade chamber orchestra student, said, "The feedback we received was extremely insightful and helped to build our confidence going into the competition."   

Students, parents and educators attended a private awards ceremony at Disneyland Park.