Bel Canto sings to the beat of its own drum in festival

Jordan Murray

Bel Canto, the women’s choir at the Upper School, attended the Women’s Chorus Festival on Nov. 16, hosted by Redlands High School.

Performing arts teacher Zanaida Robles said the purpose of the festival was not to compete, but was to get professional feedback and to hear what music other choirs in the Los Angeles area are making.

“I am excited for the students to feel like they have successfully performed their music to the best of their ability in a way that they are really really committed to the meaning and the emotion of each piece,” Robles said. “We are doing very well with memorization and basic mechanics of making the music. I feel like if they can rise above to the next level of achieving artistic expression in the music, that would be a huge success for us.”

Robles said she is especially excited for her students to perform her original piece, “Kujichagulia,” because she has been practicing playing the drums to accompany the song, instead of just conducting. Robles added that she feels that it is special that she is able to be a part of the music that is being created.

Rileigh Repovich ’20, a singer in Bel Canto, said she felt the festival was an important experience for getting to know her fellow choir-mates.

“Even though we all fell asleep on the bus, it was a great experience to be able to bond during the festival and also bonding together for the first time was amazing,” Repovich said.