As it has for each of the past 15 years, the Xavier College Preparatory Honor Choir attended the WorldStrides Heritage Festival this year. But unlike any previous trip, the girls’ efforts delivered all golds.

The choir swept the festival awards for the first time ever, taking home 1st Place Gold in the Women’s Choir Division, the Adjudicator’s Award for a total score above 95 out of 100 and the overall 1st Place Gold Award out of 31 competing choirs.

“It feels amazing to win all three awards,” said Xavier Choral Director Brittanie Hockins. “It’s something the Honor Choir has never done before and it’s a first I would love to repeat again.”  

WorldStrides Heritage Festival is held in multiple destinations across the country and globe every year, providing participants the chance to travel and give thrilling musical performances in front of nationally acclaimed judges.

It provided a perfect opportunity for the Xavier Honor Choir to show off its skills and bond as a team. Under the leadership of Hockins, accompanied by Naoko Garrison, the choir thrived on and off the stage.  

More than 1,250 singers from Arizona, California, Utah and Washington competed during the event held in Anaheim, but Xavier used its experiences and feedback from previous years’ competitions to secure the sweep as the highest-scoring choir. 

Hockins, a Xavier alumna who still keeps in touch with her best friends from her school choir, said Xavier’s Honor Choir is like a family and this fantastic performance is something they will remember for years to come.  

“They’re all bright and talented young women and they do a little bit of everything, from sports and academics to music and theatre,” Hockins said.  

This group of young women who love to sing truly gave the competition their best shot, and it showed in the final standings.  

“It’s so difficult for a women’s choir to win an overall choral award because we do not have the male voices that make up the richness in the sound of a choir, but I am so proud that these young ladies accomplished this feat and they were able to show that they can sweep everything with determination, passion and practice,” Hockins said.