Golden voices, golden prize

Advanced Choir wins gold at the Worldstrides Heritage Choral Festival

Advanced Choir attended the Worldstrides Heritage Choral Festival in San Francisco on April 12-15, winning gold in the 3A Chamber Choir category. The schools were divided into groups according to the number of participants.

“After winning, it was such a wonderful feeling because we worked really hard and we really deserved it,” senior Meagan Cooley said. “When they called our name to get our plaque, we were just in awe of how great it was. I knew we could do it and it just confirmed my hopes.”

Because of their high scores, choir is invited to the Festival of Gold and the National Honor Choir Festival at Carnegie Hall next year where they will compete against other top rated choirs from across the globe.

The overall sound was affected since many students were not able to attend due to different schedules.

“I think the treble voices in the group were a bit more timid than normal because there weren’t as many voices adding to the overall sound so I was a little worried about that,” choir teacher, Kelly Self said. “However, from this experience, I think they realized that they all can be leaders, and even if students are missing they are still an amazing group.”

Everyone’s hard work together made the festival a “great” experience, according to Cooley.

“We’ve been working for so long and hard, so going to this was just incredible,” Cooley said. “Seeing all these other choirs as well, who have also worked really hard with totally different experiences really put things into perspective. It was the first time we have been able to compare how we sound to other choirs.”

On their first day, the students received a personal workshop session lead by the choir director at Chabot College.

“He gave amazing feedback to my students, and we all learned a lot from his suggestions,” Self said. “Immediately after this workshop, we performed our festival set in front of three judges.”  

The students were graded based on their general effect, which includes their tone, balance, blend and rhythm.

Senior Marvin Ronia believes that without Self, they would not have earned the gold.

“With her pushing for us to make the tiniest adjustments to make our sound that much better and her constant support through the learning process, we were definitely more than prepared to take the gold home with us, regardless if there had been times where things looked a little shaky,” Ronia said.

From this experience, Cooley has learned to work hard while having fun at the same time.

“We can’t push ourselves like crazy because we’re going to crack,” Cooley said. “We need to have fun with it and know that we have worked really hard and it will pay off.”

Participating in the festival gave Ronia an “amazing” feeling, instilling him with confidence and “strengthening” the bonds with his friends.

“Not only was I able to come back from San Francisco a better and more confident singer than I had ever been, but I was also given the opportunity to become even greater friends with those who were on the trip with me,” Ronia said.

Auditions for 2018-2019 advanced chorus are May 7th-11th. Self believes students should join because of the experience they would gain along with the new relationships they would develop.

“Some reasons people should join advanced chorus is to travel, improve your singing and music reading abilities, make new friends, build confidence and perform music in a variety of styles,” Self said.