Honors Choir excels at Master Chorale Festival

Photo courtesy of Dr. Balfour

By June Peers

On April 28, the GHC Honors Choir attended the LA Master Chorale High School Choir Festival at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The Honors Choir is composed of 32 singers who performed alongside 800 other singers from around the Los Angeles area.

Recently, the four different divisions of Choir, which include Honors, Concert, and Show Choir, along with Chamber Singers, have received many awards. Most notably, the Concert Choir earned two Superior Ratings, which is the highest rating. The Honors Choir received a Superior Rating and an Excellent Rating, and the Show Choir placed second in their division. Meanwhile, Chamber Singers competed in San Diego where all three judges awarded them a Gold Rating.

This was the Choir’s third time performing at the Master Chorale festival. Last year, they competed in Grand Park located in Downtown Los Angeles with Grant Gershon, the conductor of the LA Master Chorale and LA Opera, as their conductor. This year, Grant Gershon was once again their conductor.

Additionally, the Honors Choir put on an impressive display as they performed an organ demonstration, which students said they could feel reverberate in their bones.
Many of the songs the Choir performed during the festival were in different languages, including Latin and Hawaiian. The Hawaiian piece was conducted by special guest Dr. Jace Saplan. Our choir was among the only choirs who also knew the choreography that goes with the song.

“Jace Saplan rocked it,” choir director Dr. Desiree Balfour said. “He had the singers laughing and cheering just after a few minutes of working with them, not to mention improving their phrasing and tone quality.”

The songs sung in English were “Hallelujah,” “#UnitedWeDream,” and “Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent.”

The choir was certainly delighted to perform at a prestigious event such as this in order to demonstrate their skills in front of large audiences.

“As it was my first time performing professionally in person in a choir, my favorite part of the festival was getting to hear how everyone’s parts sounded together,” junior Liesel Grace Mendoza said.