West Ranch choir students demonstrate individual talents in a solo night


Gaby Lesmana, Lead Design Editor

   On Thursday, Mar. 10, West Ranch and Rancho Pico choir students had the chance to show off their individuality and musical talents with a solo night in the West Ranch Theater. Each performer was able to choose their own song, accompanied by either a background track or their own instrument. Choral director Mrs. Peters aims to hold the event every year, in an effort to give students their time to shine. 

   “Solo singing is a very different skill than ensemble singing, and it’s always good for students to get to showcase their own unique style,” Mrs. Peters said. “It can be really scary to sing alone, and it’s always amazing to me that students will push themselves to perform, even if they are scared. So there’s a real opportunity for growth there, too!”

   There was a wide variety of genres and performance styles, including acoustic and jazz pieces. The night involved calmer, vocally-focused tracks as well as several Taylor Swift songs, and it finished off with a lively ‘60s style performance. 

   The Paw Print had a chance to talk to some of the performers about their song choices and what solo night means to them.

   “I wanted to make people feel the same emotions that I did when I first heard the song,” senior Meghan Murphy explained. She likes the freedom to select any song she wants and how it comes with “the ability to choose one that’s good for [her] voice.”

   A lot of thought goes into selecting a song before it goes to the stage. Murphy, who sang “I’m Not a Mountain” by Sarah Kingsley, listened to it extensively before deciding to sing it Thursday night.

   Murphy’s song choice definitely let her talent shine, starting the night on a high note. The night continued with performances from Rancho Pico students, covers of songs from the Disney movie “Encanto” and student duets.

   Katherine Lu, who sang the ambitious “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” popularized by Celine Dion, explained her intentions in challenging herself. “I wanted to do a really difficult song since I’ve been doing solo night since freshman year, and I wanted my last solo to be really big.” She delivered a show-stopping performance despite the song’s high standards. “High risks equal high returns,” Lu concluded.

   There were also several jazz pieces throughout the night, including songs by Frank Sinatra and Paul Anka. Logan Geniec, accompanied by his mother on the piano, took an energetic stance on the song “My Way.”

   Geniec elaborated on how he incorporated techniques “from [his] 3 years of All-State choir and Regional Choir” into his crowd-pleasing performance. “The minor details of vocal range and how I use my voice to sing low or high in parts of the song drag people from their seats into a whole new world with tone and expression,” he said. His passion for musical performance shined through, finishing off the show by throwing his fedora into the crowd.

 The audience and proud performers left the show smiling. It’s events like these that allow students to demonstrate their passions and talents. As Murphy said, she enjoys being able to show more emotion, knowing “that [her] voice is the only thing the audience can hear.”

   If you weren’t able to make it to the spectacular night, check out West Ranch Choir’s upcoming concert on April 15 in the West Ranch Theater.