District Choir concert proves to be therapy for the ears


The last song of the evening, “Dona Nobis Pacem”, is a canon song, meaning that the melody is passed around to different groups after a given time. Photo by: Riley Ramirez

Yasmin Myers and Riley Ramirez

A night filled with choral, pop and jazz selections.

On Jan. 17, parents and friends gathered in Buena High School’s auditorium, ready to hear the musical chords sung by various school’s choir programs, including Balboa Middle, DATA, Ventura High and Buena High. With an opening greeting from Buena’s Choir Director  Kevin Downey, the performance officially began.

VHS Jazz Choir vocalists (pictured left to right) Carly Froelich, Aliza Barocca, Eden Harnar, Eden Shoemake and Molly Sturgeon. Photo by: Yasmin Myers

The first performance of the night began with Ventura High’s own Vocal Jazz Choir singing swing-type songs, such as “All of Me” and “Moondance.” VHS sophomore and vocalist Carly Froelich shared that in order to warm up she, “sing[s] the blues scales” with her other choristers. Froelich also revealed that one of her achievements she’s had this year was “gaining a wider range,”explaining that, “I’m a soprano so I’ve been working on my high notes and I’ve gotten [the] hang of whistle notes.”

 Choir usually consists of four groups on four different voicings, soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Soprano, being the higher range, and bass being the lower of the four. 

Another VHS vocalist, Eden Shoemake, shared that in order to calm nerves, the Jazz Choir “always [does] a shake out as a group and that really helps me [with nerves].” Shoemake continued, “Mr. Hunt will always tell us a stupid joke before we go on, so that always calms me down.” Shoemake additionally shared that her favorite piece of the night was “Moondance” because “it was super upbeat and you felt like you were singing it to a special someone.” 

Next up to sing was Balboa Middle School followed by DATA. Throughout all the performances, there were various soloists that stood in the spotlight and sang the melodious line that went with the song. An unexpected soloist, and the director of Buena High School’s choir, Kevin Downey took a break from conducting and joined the Buena choir to sing their last piece, “Winter Song”.

The concert ended with all choir groups gathering together to sing “Dona Nobis Pacem”, a Latin canon song which directly translates to “Grant us Peace.”