The Central Bucks East High School Choir, under the direction of E. Scott Teschner, returned from the Heritage Festival in Washington, DC last month with gold awards for superior ratings for each of their four singing groups: Concert Choir, Men’s Ensemble, Women’s Ensemble and Select Choir. In addition, the Select Choir was awarded the Adjudicators Trophy for Best Choral Group at the festival.
Teschner was especially proud of the groups’ performances as this was his final adjudication trip with the CB East Choir.
Teschner will be retiring at the end of the school year after a 35-year career as a music educator, the last 25 of which were spent at CB East.
Said Teschner, “This was my last trip as director of the CB East Choir, so there were many moments filled with emotion and reflection for me. It was a unique trip in that we had so many varied experiences aside from the very successful adjudication festival. I was extremely proud of our singers for their musical achievements, but especially for the dignity and respect they demonstrated at the various venues at which we performed patriotic music.”
The trip to DC was the choir’s fifth visit to our nation’s capital in the past 25 years. Highlights of the trip included a visit by choir members and chaperones to the Capitol building, where they met with Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick and sang to him on the Capitol steps.
In addition, they visited and sang at the United States Air Force Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery, where the students had the honor of presenting a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The wreath was presented in a ceremony accompanied by PFC Brett Hyde of Warrington, a 2010 graduate of Central Bucks South High School.
When Hyde finished his “walk” duties at the Tomb, he met with the choir in the Arlington Amphitheatre and spoke about the cemetery and his duties as a sentinel, as well as answering questions from students and chaperones. The choir concluded their visit with PFC Hyde by singing “America the Beautiful.”
Before leaving Arlington, Teschner, his wife Ann, and several choir members laid flowers on the graves of Colby Umbrell, a graduate of CB East who lost his life on May 3rd, 2007 in service of his country, and Travis Manion, a Doylestown resident who lost his life on April 29th, 2007 in service of his country.
Teschner stated that, “The visit to Arlington National Cemetery was one of the most amazing experiences we have had on any choir trip. The sense of history and profound respect for our nation’s heroes was evident throughout our visit. The students were proud to represent their school at the wreath presentation and thrilled that one of the Tomb’s sentinels was a young man from back home. Our students were impressed with the symbolism that pervaded both the wreath-laying ceremony and the changing of the guard.”