Notre Dame students come out on top at regional choir fest

Three students from Notre Dame's upper division sang in a regional Solo and Ensemble choir festival held Jan. 20 at Detroit Country Day School and came home with the top prize.

All members of the school's chamber choir, junior Rowland Scheessele, senior Emily Macks and junior Grace Mersino each received a level-I rating, which is the highest possible from such a competition. It gives the three of them the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Michigan Youth Arts Festival, a state-wide competition.

Scheessele said he looking forward to competing in such a large group.

“I’m excited to get the chance to go to states," he said. "I felt like the Country Day event went well and really helped me with my singing ability. The judge was able to help me with my performance ability and some singing techniques.” 

For Mersino, it was about the improvements she's made since last year.

“I had a wonderful time performing at S&E last Saturday," she said. "It was nice to see the growth in my performance and receiving a level-I rating this year after a level-II rating last year. I’m excited for the prospect of further growth in my singing abilities through this experience as well as with my vocal teacher and singing throughout the year in the NDP choir program.”

Senior Macks said she's happy that her four-year choir career will end with the big competition. 

“It has been a wonderful journey participating in Solo and Ensemble through my years of high school here at NDP," she said. "I’m excited to challenge myself and learn even more as I go to states this year.” 

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at