Choir performs at Diamond Bar festival

Chamber and Men’s Ensemble performed at the eighth annual District Choral Festival Wednesday, March 2 at Diamond Bar High School.

Unlike typical concerts, the festival was primarily geared toward providing a learning experience for the performers while also giving the middle school choirs from Suzanne, Chaparral and South Pointe a glimpse of choral music at a higher level.

“The festival was to get all the choirs in the district to do an exchange so we could see the growth and development of each school and how they have been working for the year,” Chamber singer senior Ashlee Horton said. “We don’t go out to travel to other schools, so for the younger students to see how good they can be with the advanced music that we and Diamond Bar [do] gives them an idea of what they can progress to.”

Men’s Ensemble sang “Gao Shan Qing,” “Mon Coeur Se Recommande A Vous,” “A City Called Heaven” and “Silhouettes” while Chamber singers performed “O No, John,” “Tango to Evora,” and “Balleilakka.”

In addition, the choir director from Esperanza, Michael Fenton, was invited as the annual clinician to critique the younger groups after every performance.

“Critique really helps us learn the small details that stick out and that aren’t really noticed. I think the younger choirs can see as an example of what they should look like and fix it. This a good idea, because this is a good chance to show the other choirs what we can do and what we’ve been practicing,” Men’s Ensemble singer sophomore Kenan Van Setten said.

Chamber and Men’s Ensemble performed their classical set from their recent Prelude to Spring concert. As a result, practices were mainly focused on refining their tone, accents, expression and dynamics. By refining its songs, choir prepares for its upcoming Spring Pops Concert on April 15-16.

“Usually there’s a Walnut side of the district and a Diamond Bar side of the district, so this is the one chance to be perform together in a noncompetitive environment,” Choir director Lisa Lopez said. “I think our performances were really strong this year and the middle school students seemed to enjoy it very much, so I hope that translates to more middle school kids wanting to come here. I feel like we’re just a lot more unified now in how we present what we’re doing.”

By Angela Cao, Staff Writer

Photo by Emily Chen