Portland Christian Schools Preschool - Grade 12

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Music Soars Above The Happiest Place On Earth

April 23, 2024


Just before PCS’ spring break in March this year, 25 students and five chaperones with choir and band director, Mr. Joseph Ostrand headed to Disneyland to perform at the Heritage Festival. This group of students visited Biola University and Concordia University Irvine, performed for the festival adjudicators, received on-stage mini clinics, and of course, enjoyed at least one day at Disneyland!

Band receiving a workshop at Concordia Irvine

The band had an hour-long workshop at Concordia University Irvine. 

PCS choir and band at Disneyland

PCS Band and Choir students at Disneyland. 


Performing at the Festival

Anaheim Heritage Festival awards ceremony

Above photos courtesy of Tim Brown.


At the Heritage Festival’s award ceremony, to the amazement of everyone, our groups/students received the following awards.

Sweepstakes for Choral Program Award: This award recognizes an entire choral program. Each school group that presented two or more performances in each category and had the highest combined scores qualified for this Sweepstakes Award.  

PCS won the award!!  We have 17 students in our choir. It is one of the smaller choirs that attended the festival and so it was an honor to receive such a distinguished award.

Joseph Ostrand with the Choral Sweepstakes Award

The Adjudicator Award is given to a choral ensemble that scored an average 95 or higher, or to an instrument ensemble that scored 92 or higher, or to a group by special recommendation of the adjudicator panel. 

The PCS Vocal Ensemble (consisting of 6 students) was one of six recipients that night!  Directors went up on stage to receive the awards, and for the second time that night, Mr. Ostrand carefully picked his way out through a row of seated directors to get this award!

Closeup of award description

Then another amazing thing happened.  Kyle Naylor (with WorldStrides), Anaheim Heritage Festival host, introduced the Stand Out Award. Students are nominated by their directors.

The host began to describe the recipient of the Stand Out Award with the following phrases: “is more than just a musician; stands out in student body and community and makes the world a better place, a good soul, a talented musician, has the heart of one who sees the best in everyone, patient and kind to everyone whether they know them or not, believes in serving others while being fully accountable, has countless hours in coursework, service, music, church and other volunteer activities, contributes to family, and the most important quality, a humble heart, this person has never boasted, desires zero recognition … representing you, we would like to request Susan Asaya …” The only sound after the name was applause and loud shrieks as everyone from PCS heard 11th grader Susan Asaya’s name. Mr. Ostrand had asked PCS faculty for comments supporting his nomination of Susan, and used many of their contributions in his nomination of Susan!

Susan Asaya accepting her Stand Out Award

Susan with her Stand Out Award

Susan Asaya with her Stand Out Award


Another PCS student received the Maestro Award. It’s awarded to individual student musicians who distinguish themselves in the hearts, minds and ears of the adjudicators. This particular session recognized ten recipients. And one of them was junior Emma Ortman. She has been one of our outstanding musicians at PCS with aspirations to continue with her own musical compositions, playing several instruments as well as performing vocally.


Congratulations to all our choir and band students for their commitment to excellence in music!

At Biola University

At Biola University. Photo courtesy of Tim Brown.


At Disneyland with all the awards!

Photo courtesy of Tim Brown.






Words and photos unless acknowledged by Grace Dugger