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San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Winter Choir Concert

The San Marcos High School Vocal Music Department put on their annual Winter Choir Concert this past Tuesday, December 12th at the San Roque Catholic Church. Almost every year, the concert has been held at San Roque, which is known for its wonderful acoustics and beautiful architecture. The winter choir concert is a SM tradition and a perfect way to ring in the holiday season. It brings in a large audience every year, so big that the seats are all full and people often stand in the back of the church just to be able to watch the fantastic singers. 

The San Marcos High School Madrigals performed this past Tuesday. (SMHS Yearbook)

Every year, the theme of the winter choir concert is different, but the theme this year was The Promise of Light. All of the pieces that were performed were about the light and dark, as well as some classic holiday songs. The girls chorus, Royal Knights, A Capella, and Madrigals vocal groups were all a part of the concert. Each ensemble sang their own set of songs, typically three or four. Royal Knights was up first, performing a hilarious and entertaining version of The Twelve Days of Christmas, as well as a more serious piece. The tenor and bass singers from Madrigals, otherwise known as The Mads Men, also sang a piece together. Up next was Girls Chorus, who sang three beautiful songs that all equally matched the theme. Girls Chorus has grown so much as an ensemble throughout the past few months, and they have learned how to produce a gorgeous sound with all of their voices. It was impressive to see all of the hard work they and all of the other groups put into the concert. After Girls Chorus performed, the A Capella sopranos and altos came up to join them in singing a piece. Many students in Girls Chorus and A Capella that sing as sopranos or altos will be a part of The Enchanté choir next semester, so they performed a piece together for the concert in order to prepare for competitions next semester and start to feel comfortable as a group. A Capella then performed their set of three songs, one of which had solos, which is uncommon for A Capella. Normally, the songs they perform do not include solos. Solos are a great opportunity for students to gain more confidence in themselves and practice singing alone in front of a large audience, so the solos were a lovely addition. Madrigals came up after A Capella and sang their pieces, offering stunning vocals that filled the entire church and may have even caused some audience members to shed a few tears. One of their pieces was a small section from a thirty-minute piece that they will perform in a festival in Seattle, Washington next semester with many other choirs. Overall, each vocal group brought something different to the concert in their own unique ways. 

 The final number of the concert was the Hallelujah Chorus, which is a tradition in every winter choir concert and has been for decades. A Capella and Madrigals sing this piece together, but oftentimes alumni of the vocal music department will attend the concert and come up to sing The Hallelujah Chorus. A number of alumni joined the current students this year to sing the triumphant chorus. When the song began, audience members began to rise from their seats and some of them even started to sing, which proves how much of a well-loved and well-respected piece the Hallelujah Chorus is. It is a challenging piece to perform, it has many different vocal parts that are often confusing, so the students have put a lot of hard work into learning it. 

The winter choir concert was something that students enjoyed and cherished. It is a special event for all for a variety of reasons. 

“One of the many things that makes the winter concert special is getting to sing together, and watching other groups sing and seeing the room fill with love and warmth during the holidays,” said junior Diana Uzun, a member of the Madrigals choir. 

Throughout the concert, anybody watching felt a sense of happiness and holiday cheer as they listened to the beautiful melodies and harmonies that were being sung. Every single student benefited from this concert, because they got to experience performing in a stunning church with some of their closest friends that they have made in choir. Students who are a part of the vocal music department highly recommended beforehand that people should come to see the show.

“You should come to the winter concert because it is San Marcos’s best holiday event. Nothing is as excellent or festive,” said senior Olivia Miller, who is a part of the A Capella choir. “Plus, this supports our choir as we go on to out of town competitions next semester. You might find out that someone you sit next to in math class has the voice of an angel!”.

To sum it all up, the winter choir concert was the event of December for San Marcos. It was festive and fun, and a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit for anybody who got to watch. If you attended the concert, you were definitely not disappointed. All audience members were in awe of all of the incredibly talented performers that were standing on the stage sharing their glorious voices. This concert was a memorable experience for all of the students who were involved in it, and they are all anticipating the next one!

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Chloe Nydam, Staff Writer
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