Piedmont High School : Achieve the Honorable

Annual Bird Calling Contest

“Wax,” a student asked one lazy afternoon in 1963, “can we do something to liven things up around here?”

With this request in mind, Mr. Leonard J. Waxdeck recalled an interesting experience from his factory days and created the show that everyone knows as the Piedmont Bird Calling Contest.

That is the beginning of the legend, as it has been reprinted in contest programs for more than three decades. It goes on to recount the seventeen consecutive appearances on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson”, followed by appearances on “Late Night with David Letterman” with an invitation to return annually.


Though the Contest changed irrevocably in the fall of 1994 with the death of its founder, it has been carried on by the many who share in the spirit of innovation and fun of Mr. Waxdeck. In honor of the tradition that he created, we present the 46th Annual Piedmont High School Bird Calling Contest. Our hope is that with the support of the community and students, this venerable tradition will continue for many years to come.


Many people wonder about the criteria for a winning call. Is it the delicate soloist with the enchanting whistle worthy of first-place? Or is the best act the routine that receives the most enthusiastic response from the audience?

To assist any armchair judges in the audience, the following criteria are used to judge the calls.

Though judges give scores for each of the three criteria, points alone do not determine the winners. There are intangibles that set the winners apart.

Authenticity of Call

The judges will act as experts of the Contest to certify the authenticity of the call.

Poise and Delivery

Both stage presence and smoothness of delivery are considered. The beauty and singularity of the bird call are essential.

Content of Introduction

Contestants must write their own ‘sketches’. It should include pertinent information about their bird. The information should be organized, well-composed, and in good taste. Humor can be a plus or minus, depending on its propriety and taste.

Past Winners

2012 Gabe Bolio, James Clifford, Eli Nash
2011 Caitlin Baldridge, Austin Kelley, Theo Quayle
2010 Andrew Moorhead, Emma Nicholls, Zach Piser
2009 Anna Kritikos, Claire Rogers, & Rosie Talcott
2008 Derek DeRoche, Eric Sezgen, & Eric Wheeler
2007 Drew Joseph & Drew Kessler
2006 Dana Han-Klein & Claire Menke
2005 Claire Neumann & Kelsey Webster
2004 Laci Halliwell, Brandon Paris, & Bunny Rutherford
2003 Andrew Meyer & Cullen Reddy
2002 Alex Hirsch
2001 Jill Pervere & Rachel Winograd
2000 Eli Liliedahl-Allen & Courtney Labree
1999 David Lau & Paul Celestre
1998 John Shumway & Carl Moren
1994 Sean Alexander Santana

Piedmont High School is interested in acquiring previous Bird Calling posters, programs, and results for the following years:





All Years Pre-1992


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