Valencia – The Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons hosted its 4th Annual High School Invitational Choir Festival Tuesday, November 23rd. The event was headed by The Choral Department and musical Directors, Lori Marie Rios and Julie Lawson. Each school that attended had a different accapella singing style to offer the crowd and most were accompanied by a pianist.
A total of twelve choirs performed pieces from the Renaissance period through the 20th century, including some church style hymns with a twist of jazz and pop. Given a wide variety of symphonic melodies, the audience was immersed by the sweet sounds of W.A. Mozart, Anton Bruckner, Gabriel Faure, and more.
College of the Canyons Women’s Choir (Les Chanteuses) began their segment with a Croatian piece composed by Ivan Bozicevic, “Pastir Dobri (The Good Shepherd).” Each female equally pleased the crowd by their soft peaceful tunes and did not disappoint with their last enchantment of “Music Down In My Soul,” composed by arr. Moses Hogan. Its upbeat gospel sound livened the auditorium as cheerful clapping resonated throughout.
The girls of the Highlanders Women’s Choir at Granada High exemplified perfect vocal techniques that were well performed alongside the tunes of the piano. The choir was accompanied by pianist, Melissa Ishkanian. Melissa very much enjoyed her contribution to the evening, “I find great satisfaction in being able to accompany the choirs and hope it can lead me to other opportunities in the future.” She assists the choir part time while she teaches piano lessons as her full time job.
Harvard-Westlake High School Chamber Singers also delivered quite a sound in their ensemble. Their Director, Rodger Guerrero, began by leading his students into a harmonizing piece, “Psalm 117.” It was a quiet and calm song that carried sounds of peacefulness. Following was “Venezuelan Carol” which was also significantly striking as the girls and boys encouraged one another harmonically.
Lori Marie Rios directed the last segment of the evening with accompanist, Yoko Mizuno on behalf of one of the four choirs offered at College of the Canyons. The co-ed ensemble delightfully presented “Ave Marie” by Giancarlo Aquilani as their opening piece. Each symphony thereafter was even more mesmerizing than the last. As the show came to an end, the audience applauded with joyous approval and each fellow choir visibly appreciated the talent portrayed on stage.