Walter Reed Music Department garners top prize at Heritage Music Festival

Print This Post Print This Post


This past weekend, students and teachers from North Hollywood’s Walter Reed Middle School music program traveled to San Francisco,  competing in the Heritage Music Festival,  bringing home top honors and winning the Festival’s grand prize — the Festival Sweepstakes Award — given to the school that brings both instrumental and choral groups and has the highest combined scores in those groups as well.

Walter Reed music teachers (l-r) Janice Kueppers, Stephen McDonough and Jessica Johnson with the Heritage Music Festival's grand prize — the Festival Sweepstakes Award. Photos: Suzy Li

The Wind Ensemble, led by teacher Jessica Johnson, won a silver ranking and first place in their division. The Chamber Orchestra, led by teacher Stephen McDonough, won a gold ranking and first place as well. The Concert Choir, led by teacher Janice Kueppers, won a gold ranking and qualified for an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Soloist winners (l-r) Alicia Paterson (Choir) and Eve Whitman (Viola)

In addition to the group awards, two individual soloist awards were presented to eighth graders Alicia Paterson (Choir)  and Eve Whitman (Orchestra — viola).

Walter Reed competed against 17 schools.  All were high schools, except for three middle schools, including Reed.  Schools represented came from California, as well as Nevada, Utah, Tennessee, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, Texas, and New Jersey.  There were 11 instrumental groups and 21 choral groups in total.

Walter Reed Middle School music students.

If you are interested in supporting the Walter Reed Middle School music program or would like  get involved, please check out on the Music Booster page at or email us at

Suzy Li is the Music Booster liaison to the Walter Reed PTSA and long time active member of the Walter Reed Music Boosters. She is a pediatrician and the mother of two boys — Walter Reed Middle School (8th grade) and Harvard-Westlake (10th grade).

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.