Women’s Choir to perform at SAVC festival

Chronicle Staff

By Lara Sokoloff

After a three year hiatus, the Women’s Choir will perform together this year at the Southern California Vocal Association Choir Festival in March, middle school performing arts department chair and choral director Nina Burtchaell said.

In its last performance together at the 2007 SAVC Choir Festival, the Women’s Choir earned a superior rating, Burtchaell said.

“It was great and wonderful and we all loved it,” she said.

Due to the success of the women’s choir, Burtchaell and Guerrero decided to create a men’s choir. However, there is not enough room in the schedule for both choirs to perform. Thus, the following year, only the men’s choir performed in the festival and also earned a superior rating, Burtchaell said.

“We’ve always been trying to build the boys’ program so that it was more equal with the great women’s program that we have,” Burtchaell said. “So we decided to concentrate on that for a couple of years, and get the boys’ singing program up to speed.”

Feeling that they have accomplished their goal, they have decided to reinstate the women’s choir, Burtchaell said.

Due to lack of space on the stage, the seventh grade girls were unable to participate in the festival. However, if all boys were able to take part in the past few years, all girls should be as well, she said.

In order to adequately prepare, the chorus will rehearse together three times. One rehearsal will take place at the Upper School and one will take place at the Middle School, in addition to a final rehearsal the day of the festival, Burtchaell said.

The joint choir allows for an exchange between the older and younger female singers. It gives the middle school girls a chance to see and get a feel for the Upper School, and the upper school girls to see the new campus and be with the younger kids, Burtchaell said.

The older girls also serve as role models for the younger singers, she said. It is also important for the older, more experienced singers to be the ones modeling and to take an interest in the younger choirs.

“Choral singing is such a camaraderie,” Burtchaell said. “We all do it because we love it, and the more of us who are doing what we love together, the happier and more fulfilling it is.”