The George Mason High School music department traveled April 3 – 6 to Myrtle Beach and competed at the Fiesta Val Music Festival with schools from Maryland, Ohio, North and South Carolina, and Virginia. One hundred Mason musicians competed and earned a variety of ensemble and individual awards.
For ensemble awards, Mason won first place in Division V Wind Ensemble, Category II Percussion Ensemble, and Division III Mixed Chorus. In Jazz Ensemble, Mason took first place and was the overall winner among all difficulty and school-size categories.
For individual awards, Mason won best soloist in a wind ensemble with Dominique Barna’s piccolo solo on Sousa’s “Pathfinder of Panama,”; best jazz soloist in the jazz ensembles with David McAllister’s drumset set solo on “Big Noise from Winnetka”; best saxophone section with the jazz ensemble of Matt Earman on baritone sax, Justin Divecha and Neal Marshall on tenor sax, and Guthrie Edson on alto sax; and best brass section for the jazz ensemble of Preston Custer, Austin Gogal, Hannah Hiscott, and Paul Abbracciamento on trumpet, Gywenth Pasch, Nico Ferrara, Patrick Lin on trombone, and Noah Saberhagen, Max Hendrix, Timothy Gilmour, and Daniel Nette on euphonium.
Despite an initial issue with a bus breaking down on the way to the competition, the group went on to enjoy the beach, Medieval Times, and a theater performance.