The Los Gatos High School (LGHS) Choral Department has recently been performing frequently while simultaneously preparing for their April performance at Carnegie Hall in New York City.. In the past few months, the LGHS choirs sang alongside Raymond J. Fisher Middle School (RJF) singers, completed their annual spring concert, and attended the San Jose State University (SJSU) Choral Invitational.
On Jan. 20, the LGHS audition choirs invited middle school choir students — mostly from RJF — to rehearse and perform with them. During the event, middle schoolers workshopped music with both LGHS choral director Maricel Riley and RJF choral director Corey Miller. Students sang through songs while focusing on blending vocal and vowel tones to prepare for their concert later that night. Middle school students got a chance to ask older choir students questions about the class, and get to know people from the choir community. To finish the night off, both RJF and LGHS students gathered in a mass choir to perform a couple of songs in the theater for loving parents.
On March 7, the LGHS choir gathered for their annual spring concert at the Saratoga McAfee Center. Nicolas Deschaux-Beaume — a student in the primarily freshman Concert Choir — recalled that he was most proud of the improvement his choir made by the time of the concert, and stated: “I believe Why Caged Birds Sing has really come super far from where it began. We had no idea what we were doing with the piece [at first], but we rehearsed it more and more…now we can just sing it with ease and it’s very nice.” He explained that the choir concerts always validate the hard work that he and classmates put into perfecting their song repertoires.
After each of the three choirs performed their individual songs, the two audition choirs sang the traditional Filipino folk song Paruparong Bukid, which translates to Field Butterfly. This song showcased difficult timing and language, but was a favorite to perform for many of the choral students. After Paruparong Bukid, the Concert Choir joined for two combined songs: The Ground and Wade in the Water. Deschaux-Beaume explained his thoughts on combining with the audition choirs, saying “I love working with people older than me because they have so much more experience and they know so much more that I can learn through being in this choir with them.”
Most recently, the audition choirs attended the SJSU Choral Invitational, at which each choir performed three songs and received feedback from and a workshop with a choral expert. At the event, two choirs from other schools performed, and the official SJSU choir even sang a few songs for the attendees.
In the upcoming months, the Choral Department looks forward to performing songs such as Paruparong Bukid at Carnegie Hall, as well as looks forward to hosting the Saratoga High School Choral Department for a choral exchange — an event where both schools will perform for each other.