Choir sings praises of trip |

Choir sings praises of trip

Theresa Hamilton
Re-2 Director of Districtwide Services

With the wind whipping through their hair, and a cruise liner rocking beneath their feet, the Rifle High School Varsity Choir earned top honors over spring break at the Heritage Music Festival competition.

The competition was held in part with a Mexican cruise where students not only refined their musical talents, but gained valuable life experiences as well.

The choir raised the $20,000 for the trip over the last six months through a variety of fund-raisers, including selling Butter Braids and bricks for the new Coal Ridge High School walkway.

Rifle Choral Director Jennifer Calhoun was thrilled with the choir’s performance of several very difficult pieces.

The Rifle choir performed two Latin pieces ” “Lacrimosa,” and “Salmo 150″ ” and “Come to the Music.”

“The judges were very impressed with our students,” said Calhoun.

The comments from the judge were very complimentary of the Rifle choir. He felt that the diction in Salmo 150 was the best he had ever heard, and the performance earned the Rifle troop top honors for the competition.

A secondary benefit from the competition, however, was the experience that the students received. The Rifle students got to meet students and cruise staff members from many different countries, including Nigeria and many eastern European countries. The first stop was Key West, Fla., where students had a choice of excursions. Some went sea kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico and learned about the spotted hare, the conch, sea cucumbers, and other interesting sea creatures. They floated through wild green mangroves and had an experience unlike any other.

The second port was Cozumel, Mexico, where students got to take part in a biking/ snorkeling excursion at the Chankanaab national park. The third stop was near Belize City, Belize. Students took a tour of the Mayan ruins of Alta Ha.

Congratulations to the very talented Rifle High School varsity choir and a huge thank you to the community and business people who supported the choir and made the trip possible.


Students at Highland Elementary each received a new book on Monday thanks to the First Annual Book Swap.

Over the past few weeks, students were encouraged to bring a new or gently used book to school. Monday, teachers took their classes to the second level of Highland where rows and rows of books were laid out and students got to choose a new book to take home.

Highland teacher Kelly Bina and Principal Howard Disney collaborated on the idea.

“We value reading and literacy as a whole; we thought it would be a great way to get books into the hands of every student,” said Bina. In addition to the books brought in by students, Scholastic donated $750 worth of books at all grade levels and the Rifle Public Library donated 50 books. The Highland Elementary PTAC donated money to help fill in the gaps if students needed books at higher or lower grade levels.

When all was said and done, over 1,000 books were brought in and every student at Highland will receive a new book whether they were able to bring one in or not.

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