On Thursday, Feb. 15, choir directors, Shawn Reifschneider of Burlingame and San Mateo High School choir, John Collaros of Burlingame Intermediate School choir and David Song of Bowditch Middle School choir collaborated to create “The Wonderful World of Song.” This performance was inspired by the 1954 TV series, “The Wonderful World of Disney.” Students from these multiple choirs performed some of the original and newer songs from Disney movies and programs. In addition to full choral performances, students performed many memorable duets and solos.
This concert was the first that the SMUHSD choir department had collaborated with middle schools, meaning this concert was more difficult than past performances. Choir director Shawn Reifschneider described how this performance was particularly nerve wracking due to having to work with so many other choirs made of people of varying skill levels.
The music performed throughout the concert renewed the love of Disney tunes in audience members as they heard some of their favorite songs being performed live. The concert opened with “We Know the Way” from the 2016 Disney film, Moana. The audience witnessed the varying levels of vocal ability and skill through the performances of the varying choirs. At the end of the concert, all four choirs came together to perform “Seize the Day” from the hit film and musical Newsies. Reifschneider describes this moment as being one of the highlights of the performance, allowing all the different students to contribute to create a complete choral sound.
Some other highlights of the concert were the solos and duets that students performed. These included “The Rainbow Connection” performed by Alistair Rao and Lucy Ballinger of Burlingame Intermediate School, “Colors of the Wind” performed by Becky Alex of Bowditch Middle School, “Reflection” performed by Sarah Fung-Smith of San Mateo High School, “Hellfire” performed by Callie Reimann, “When She Loved Me” performed by Anika Krishnan of San Mateo High School and “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” performed by Desh Padmakumar of San Mateo High School. The soloists from the Burlingame choirs included Laurie Tang who performed “God Help the Outcasts,” Allison Sullivan Wu who performed “I’ll Try,” Abigail Nix who performed “Just Around the Riverbend” and Suzanna Longworth who performed “Home”.
This performance appeared to be much more casual than the Winter Choir Concert where the choirs selected classical and complex holiday songs.
“This concert was more focused on the pop style of music,” Reifschneider said. “It allows for less formality like with our previous concerts and have more fun.”
Overall, this performance put on by these choirs was very consistent and entertaining for audiences. It kept people entertained by bringing back some of their favorite tunes from their childhood, renewing their love for Disney. The choir is currently preparing for touring Anaheim in April, and competing in the SoCal Performance Tour, a music festival. Their next concert will be “Spring Sing” on May 15th at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center.