MHS Choir Participates in UH Invitational


Mina Pecoraro

This is the first time the Farrington High School, Sacred Hearts Academy and Mililani High School choirs performed with each other.

Danean Wurlitzer, Reporter

     On Oct. 26, the MHS choir participated in the first annual UH Mānoa High School Choir Invitational, held at the UH Mānoa campus. The choirs of MHS, Farrington High School and Sacred Hearts Academy were invited to do a choral workshop with the UH Choirs, which concluded in a concert performed by the schools. At the event, the students were able to meet and collaborate with other students and teachers and experience a collegiate-level choral education. 

     “Before the event, I was anxious and nervous to be with a bunch of other students, and to go into it feeling unprepared. This feeling soon changed when we came to meet all the fun and enthusiastic people at the event and buckled down to learn the two songs,” said Sophomore Alto Sophia Evrard.

     The invitational began with the students meeting the other choirs, followed by a workshop in which they learned new techniques, and rehearsed for a concert that would end the night. The workshop was an opportunity for both the students and teachers to learn from professional directors who work at UH Mānoa. “It was important for our students to work and learn from other teachers. The students worked with Dr. Saplan, who is an expert in choral literature, conducting and music education,” said choir teacher Bryson Terazono.

     Prior to the event, the choir had roughly two weeks to learn the songs “The Boy Who Picked Up His Feet to Fly” and “Ndikhokhele Bawo,” before performing it with the rest of the choirs. The short amount of time to learn the songs was one of the challenges that the choir faced. “I think if we had the music more advanced from the event, then it would’ve relieved a lot of stress some had on the way,” said Evrard. 

     Once they were able to learn the songs, the next challenge was to practice them with the other schools. However, the successful collaboration on short notice between the four different schools was a relief for many of the students and teachers. “(I liked) seeing students of Mililani High School interact and make connections with choir students from Farrington and Sacred Hearts. It is also very rewarding knowing our students felt proud of their performance at the end and had fun doing it,” said Terazono. 

     The invitational also served as an insight into the music department at the college level. The high school students got to experience what it was like to be taught by college professors, allowing them to see how they felt about it. “I think one of the biggest things too is (that) it kinda opens the doors to UH being a possible college for some; it introduces their music program and serves as an introduction to what the school could provide to those who may want to attend it,” said Evrard.

     Although they came from all over the island, the students were able to bond over something they had in common: their love for choir. The invitational was not only for the students to learn the technical aspects of singing, but for them to pursue their passion for it as well. “Choir has been and will always be a key factor in my life,” said Evrard. “From this event, I was reminded of why I love choir so much and why I still continue to do it, even after all these years.”

     As the event was the very first UH Choir Invitational, Mililani High School, along with Farrington and Sacred Hearts, was one of the only high schools to experience the unique opportunity. This also meant that they had the responsibility of representing MHS as a whole. “The choirs of Mililani High School value kindness, patience, and hard work. At the choral invitational each student demonstrated these values carried themselves very well,” said Terazono. “I am proud of all of them, and I am very privileged and honored to be their teacher.”

     The MHS choir has two more concerts for 2019: a performance at Mililani Middle School in November, and the MHS Music Department Winter Concert in December. As for 2020, the choir will be performing in the Na Leo Hou Choral Festival in February, the Complex Choral Festival in March, and the End-of-Year Spring Concert in May.