On April 6, a special gathering took place in the choir room at Collège Sturgeon Heights Collegiate during the lunch hour. Winnipeg Music Festival Executive Director Joanne Mercier visited the school to present the prestigious Earl Grey Trophy to the Sturgeon Heights Concert Choir. The group, directed by Avonlea Armstrong-Green, received the honour based on their performance at this year’s Winnipeg Music Festival. The Earl Grey Trophy acknowledges the most outstanding performance by a Mixed School Chorus in Grades 7-12.
Joanne explained how more than 200 choirs participate in the festival each year and approximately 25% of those choirs are eligible to receive the Earl Grey Trophy. She also enlightened the students about the origins of the trophy as well, named after the Fourth Governor General of Canada, Albert Henry George Grey. He was equally passionate about sports as he was about the arts and to symbolize his support in these two areas he donated The Grey Cup to the Canadian Rugby Union in 1909 and the Earl Grey Trophy to the Grey Competition for Music and Drama in 1907. This is now the Grey Cup which is awarded each year in the Canadian Football League and the Earl Grey Trophy awarded annually by the Winnipeg Music Festival since it was donated to the organization in 1923.
“It’s just an outstanding standard that comes out of this school in terms of the preparation, the difficulty of the pieces that are performed is always something very challenging and I think there is just a strong commitment from, not just the teacher, but from the participants,” said Joanne of the Concert Choir.
Congratulations to all Concert Choir members and to Avonlea Armstrong-Green on earning this honourable award. Best of luck in your future performances!