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The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Choirs convene for annual retreat

Printed with permission of Zanaida Robles
Choir students pose for a group photo during choir retreat outside of Feldman-Horn.

Wolverine Chorus, Bel Canto and Chamber Singers convened at Saint Saviour’s Chapel from Sept. 22-23 for their choir retreat. Conventionally, the retreat takes place at a center in the San Bernardino Mountains, but it was unable to be booked this year.

The retreat began with the choirs practicing their repertoire and participating in vocal exercises and then transitioned to a night of games and bonding activities. On the second day, Director of Choirs and Orchestra at Brentwood School Charlie Kim joined the choirs to lead a singing class and work with students on vocal skills.

Choral Director Zanaida Robles said the tradition has been taking place for years.

“Choir retreat has been a tradition for decades,” Robles said. “It used to be just for Chamber Singers. I began including Bel Canto and Wolverine Chorus in 2019. My favorite part was watching our guest clinician Charlie Kim work with [the choirs] on the Brahms piece.

Chamber Singers Bass Section Leader Isaac Tiu ’24 said he was content with how the choir retreat turned out this year given the circumstances.

“I think we made the most of choir retreat this year given the circumstances of not being able to go to an actual retreat center,” Tiu said. “Choir retreat has two primary goals—the development of our repertoire and technique, and for everyone in the program to bond and get to know each other. I definitely think we achieved both goals this year, spending a good amount of time working on our music and having sleepovers where we got to spend time together in a non-school setting.”

Emma Lutsky ’26 said the activities allowed her to get to know the upperclassmen.

“Our choirs bonded not just from the bonding activities, but also just by all singing together and working together,” Lutsky said. “I definitely feel like I got closer with lots of upperclassmen. We all had a great time together and they felt just like any other friend.”

Tiu, who has been a part of the upper school choral program for three years and is now entering his final year, said his final choir retreat was especially heartfelt.

“Choir retreat was quite meaningful to me because it marked the beginning of the end,” Tiu said. “It made me reflect on all the memories I have from choir, think about how I’ve grown since my sophomore year and how our program has changed and developed these past two years. While it was sad to end our last choir retreat, it made me even more excited for all the choir events coming up this year.”

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Colin Ho
Colin Ho, Sophomore Editor
Colin Ho ’26 is the Sophomore Editor of the Chronicle. In his free time, Ho said he likes to sing, listen to music and go out with friends. Ho said he also enjoys going out to nature and trying new restaurants with his family. Ho said he joined the media program because he wanted to become a better writer. “I joined media because I was interested in learning more about journalism and how it works because I have been intrigued by journalism since middle school,” Ho said. “I wanted to learn about how to interview people and talk to people I don’t know because I think that’s a really important skill to have.” Ho said he is most excited to work in different sections and at layout. “This year, I am looking forward to being able to get more involved and writing more articles, as well as expanding my range and trying to write articles in different sections, such as A&E or Opinion,” Ho said. “I am also looking forward to layout because I think it’s a great opportunity to bond with the other people on The Chronicle.”

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