Choir Prepares for Festival with Pre-Festival Concert


Isabela Ramirez

Advanced Women's Ensemble at the Pre-Festival Choir Concert on March 3rd.

Thor's Hammer Staff

The Advanced Women’s Ensemble, Concert Choir, and Evoke Show Choir performed a pre-festival concert on Tuesday, March 3 to prepare for their upcoming festival, which was canceled due to the COVID19 pandemic.  The choir is directed by David Sonnichsen.  

The Advanced Women’s Ensemble began with “The Sky, the Dawn, and the Sun,” performed by Celtic Woman and arranged by Audrey Snyder.  This song included a duet, featuring Mikayla D’Silva and Magdalyn Hoffman.  This was followed by a traditional Andalusian folk song, “Lamma Badda Yatathanna,” arranged by Joy Ondra Hirokawa.  Orchestra director and violinist Dahlia Horenziak and senior cellist Vanessa Meija accompanied the piece.  The group ended with “I Hear Sweet Music” by Andrea S. Klouse.

Isabela Ramirez
Orchestra Director Dahlia Horenziak and senior cellist Vanessa Mejia accompany the Advanced Women’s Ensemble at their Pre Festival Concert on March 3rd.

While the choir always uses piano accompaniment, this night by Cheryl Johnston, it is unusual to include other instruments.  For this performance, they added accompaniments by Valley orchestra and band.  

“Using violin, cello, and oboe for certain songs was unique and a lot of fun,” Sonnichsen said.

“My favorite part of choir is building a great bond with many women there,” two-year Advanced Women’s Ensemble member Alexandra Arellano said, continuing “ that ties with being able to express myself through music and building courage as my favorite part as well.”

The Concert Choir began with “The Song of the Sea” by Raymond Hannisian and ended with “All Night, All Day,” a spiritual arrangement by Greg Gilpin.

Concert Choir performing at the Pre-Festival Concert on March 3rd.

The show finished with Evoke Show Choir performing three songs.  They played “Danny Boy,” an Irish folk song arranged by Danny Printz, and Jordyn Tuley accompanied the group on oboe.  She also accompanied them on the next song, “Ubi Caritas,” by Michael John Trotta.  The Evoke Show Choir ended with “Gate Gate,” by Brian Tate.

Isabela Ramirez
Jordyn Tulley on oboe with Evoke Show Choir at the Pre-Festival Choir Concert on March 3rd.

“The concert was a good benchmark in the road to preparing for Festival (even though we didn’t get to perform),” Sonnichsen said.  “It might have been a little rough around the edges, but at the core, all the choirs have progressed a huge amount since their fall concert and they should be proud of that.”

The choirs missed out on a lot of events due to the school closure. They were preparing for their end of the year concert on May 1st:  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Showcase.  Students were beginning to prepare music from Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, Queen, and Paul Simon, who were inductees for the year 2001.

“I want to share with the choir students how much I miss making music with them and that in the fall we will use some of the songs that were supposed to be for our Spring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert for our Fall Concert,” Sonnichsen explained.

Senior to-be Arellano discussed some thoughts on the upcoming school year.  Choir has a lot to look forward to in 20-21.

“I am looking forward to seeing my friends again and having new freshmen to guide and teach as they enter high school, especially because middle school ended so quickly so the reality and anxiety of joining highschool become amplified.  And guiltily, I am quite excited for the rescheduled Disney Choir trip next year!”