Acapella and Madrigals choirs competed in their annual Golden State competition on Tuesday May 16. Madrigals placed second and Acapella placed fourth, the best either choir has ever placed in their competition history.
Acapella consists of 107 choral students, and Madrigals is an even more select group of 35 singers who also sing in Acapella.
The Golden State Choral Competition takes place at Pacific Union College in Northern Napa Valley; CVHS choral students arrive at school at 7:15 a.m. to get to the Napa college by 11 a.m. Students had the chance to listen to nine other large and small choirs perform throughout the day, from schools all around the bay from Napa Valley to Mt. Eden High School.
“It is the most prestigious of its kind in the state, so there is nothing with higher standard for choral music that we could enter. To be even invited is an honor. To be in the top five in the state is a huge, huge deal,” said choir teacher Laryssa Sadoway.
Each choir sang three songs, two pieces chosen by the choirs, and one that every choir sang. Acapella performed the required piece “De Mit Tranen Zaen,” along with pieces “Water Night” by Eric Whitacre and “Balleilakka” by Ethan Sperry. Madrigals performed required piece “Blue Bird,” and pieces “Se Per Havervi Oime” by Morten Lauridsen and “Only In Sleep” by Eriks Esenvalds.
“It was a day full of beautiful music and beautiful people. I’ve never felt more blessed to be part of this choir, and I’m so incredibly proud of the work we’ve done this year,” said sophomore Britney Eng.
In a competition day hiccup, CVHS choirs forgot their drums for the piece “Balleilakka.”
“Thankfully, we were in a music school and someone was able to get us drums. But it was stressful thinking that we had done all this work to be docked points because of the drums,” said Eng.
Acapella and Madrigals choirs work tirelessly throughout the year to learn these pieces and perform them to perfection. While Madrigals is its own class period, Acapella meets together as a full choir only once a month.
“I’m really, really proud. There are a few times that I’ve felt truly a ton of pride in my life, in myself, and the choir that I work with. This was definitely one of them,” said senior Grace Hancock.
“What we do is very special. It’s unlike anything else you’re going to do in high school. There’s nothing quite like that feeling you get when you synthesize a performance,” said Sadoway.