Six West Ranch students named to the Southern California Regional Honor Choir


Noor Baber, Copy Editor

   No matter what music genre one may perform, music is often seen as one of the most difficult art forms to master— particularly singing, as it requires many hours of practice to perfect. Here at West Ranch, the choir is composed of talented students with a passion for singing and performing in a group.

   Recently, six choir students at West Ranch were selected for a prestigious honor: the Southern California Regional Honor Choir. Six West Ranch students were chosen for the choir this year: Si Castor, Itri Fideleo, Logan Geniec, Shanzay Hassan, Katherine Lu and Keely Young. This choir is made up of a group of students chosen from all over Southern California, who come together to sing in a concert every year.

   These students were named to the choir after a rigorous audition. Katherine Lu, a senior, detailed some of this process in an interview with The Paw Print.

   “It was a lot,” Lu expressed. “The first thing they did was a range test, and we had to sing scales- the chromatic scale and major scale. We had to do a minor triad… Then we sang our Italian art song, [which] could [have been]in some other languages, like German, French, and Spanish. …And then… [there’s] tonal memory, where they play a series of notes on the piano, and then you have to sing it back to them. Then you have to do sight reading…”

   Ms. Peters, the choral director at West Ranch, further described one step of this procedure, sight reading: “Sight reading is when you’ve never seen a piece of music before and you are expected to sing it after only being allowed a minute to look it over. It’s definitely the hardest part of the audition!”

   In addition to this, the audition is made more difficult due to the high number of students who apply for the choir— this year, around 400 students applied.

   Shanzay Hassan, a senior, explained that “these are kids from all over the [area]. Here in SoCal, for the regional choir, there are kids from all the way down in San Diego, people from here, etc.”

   Mrs. Peters emphasized the significance of being named for this choir: “It’s such an honor! Fewer than 200 students were selected to participate in [the] regional honor choir from all over Southern California. There are three regional honor choirs in the state and the top singers from each of the three regions will come together in February to perform in the All State Honor [Choir] as part of the state music education conference in Fresno.”

   Mrs. Peters also stressed how auditioning for the honor choir is beneficial to the students and shows a growth mindset. During choir auditions, a singer has to open up and be vulnerable, which can be a tough thing to do. Mrs. Peters explained that if one can perform a solo audition, they can accomplish anything in choir.

   All in all, being chosen for the honor choir is a significant accomplishment, and a special privilege for students.

   Hassan described the personal importance of being chosen for the choir. “This means a lot to me, because I just picked up choir this year. I really wanted to get into it, because it was an opportunity for me to expand on something that I’m new to. At first I thought I wouldn’t get in, and I was okay with that. The fact that I got in means the world to me. I get to travel with people all over SoCal and perform in a big choir, and that’s really exciting and new.”

   Lu also expressed her excitement about being chosen for the honor choir and having the opportunity to perform with the group.“I tried in junior high and I didn’t get in, so I’m glad I finally did. It’s fun, because I get to stay… by myself for four days… and I get to sing in [a] church.”

   Now that the students have been chosen for this choir, they will have the opportunity to perform with other students named to this group from across Southern California.

   “The concert is Saturday, November 20th at University of Redlands in the beautiful chapel. It’s going to be lovely!” Mrs. Peters concluded.

   Being named to the Southern California Honor Choir is a significant achievement for these six students. Wildcats, be sure to support and congratulate the talented members of the West Ranch choir who were chosen for this prestigious event!