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A Year in Review: Choir Edition

Santa Barbara High School has created a thriving environment for our arts and entertainment students. The 2023-2024 school year has come to an end, and it is time to look back on all of our most cherished memories, including our choir department. In the fall, their very first concert was “The Musical Marathon” on October 7, and included both Madrigals and Acapella singers. The concert is a part of their annual fundraiser where people choose to donate on a per-song basis as they sing for four hours straight. In December, our singing Dons turned into caroling Dons as the Madrigals spread cheer through the community, including places like the Farmer’s Market. “Being able to sing and raise money is really fun,” says Laura Nancarrow, a senior who’s been with choir for all four years of high school. They held their annual Winter Concert on December 8 and many described it as a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. Their singing grams were also a successful hit. The next thing on their list was to get ready for the most anticipated event of the year, their annual competition trip which took place in Orlando, Florida. The Madrigals performed three songs, which were “Farewell Dear Love,” “The Lone Wild Bird,” and “Fuego Que me Quema.” Concert choir (with both Acapella and Madrigals), had three songs as well, including “Spark of Light,” “Chante Waste Hoksila” and “II Lampo.” Madrigals earned a gold placing while the Concert choir earned a silver placing. The SBHS choir department ended up receiving a trophy for the choir who was closest to 200 points total, combining Concert and Madrigal points. The singing Dons spent the rest of their trip celebrating by going to Universal Studios and admiring the scenery of sunny Florida. After that was the Spring Concert, taking place on April 5 in which they sang pieces from their Orlando trip. 

The SBHS choir department will wrap up the year with their annual Pops concert. It will take place on May 31 7pm in the SBHS theater, with the theme being movies. It is their last concert of the year and an extremely special one, especially for the graduating class of 2024. When asking seniors about their favorite memories from choir, David Benavides and Izzie Fabio both recalled how fun the Choir Olympics were. “It’s like where we get together, we play games, and we get to meet people from the choir. We get to get close to people, it’s just a lot of fun,” says Benavides, who’s been with the choir for a year. Others say that performing and practicing together were their favorite memories, even if they had to devote lots of their time and effort to perfect their performances. “It was definitely worth it because the smiles on people’s faces definitely made it pay off,” says Shanthelle Torres, a Madrigal who’s been with choir for four years. An accomplishment that the seniors share is being proud of getting gold at their Orlando competition and joining choir in general. Breana Aispuro describes it perfectly, saying, “Being in choir is an accomplishment for me, because growing up I always wanted to do it but I was really shy and nervous about what people would say. Just being here is just one of the biggest things that I’m just so proud of.” Along with juggling different events and practice, there also came the concern of college applications. While maintaining the balance of doing choir, seniors had to focus on their plans after high school as well. Most are planning to continue pursuing the arts, whether it’s music composition or performing arts their passion for music continues to grow. Benavides says “It’s like I found my people. And that’s caused me to develop as a person and really become more confident, and it’s like… I finally found myself, and that feeling of finding yourself is just amazing.”


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