The Burlingame and San Mateo High School choirs recently attended their annual competition in Anaheim for the Worldstrides Heritage Festival. Being the biggest event of the year for the joint choir, the competition and stakes were intense. Junior Ryan Cheng describes the event as “highly competitive.” But despite the immense pressure, the Chamber Singers of Burlingame and San Mateo received first place for their performance, maintaining their streak of placing. The Concert Choir also received Silver III for their performance.
The Chamber Singers won this competition with their performance of “New York Girls,” “Geistliches Lied, Op. 30” and an acapella version of “Last Leviathan,” sung by Suzanna Longsworth. The Concert Choir performed “Seal Lullaby,” “Cantate Canticum Novum” and an acapella version of “Tshotsholoza,” which were in a variety of languages, ranging from Latin to South African.
Cheng describes how he and his fellow Chamber Singers, “shed tears of joy and lost our voices when [they] heard [they won].”
This victory is very gratifying for Cheng and the other choir members, to have put in so much time and effort to win an award for it.
“It shows that our choir is always improving and always showing our best selves on stage which is something that will carry on into the future,” Cheng said.
During this trip, the choir is able to take advantage of this incredible learning experience. The choirs are able to make a visit to California State University of Long Beach to receive professional input on their performances. This competition is also an end goal for the choir to work towards continuously throughout the year.
When the choir was not performing or preparing for the festival, they took advantage of the opportunity to bond with their fellow members, an important aspect in choir, according to Cheng. This year the choir was able to enjoy the attractions at Disneyland with other groups in the competition.
“There isn’t a single boring day or moment because we’re all very open and comfortable with each other,” Cheng said. “We enjoy rides together, we sing on the bus, we cry, laugh and cheer together. It’s a great place to meet people who share the same hobby as you; and strengthen the bonds with the people you already know.”
The Worldstrides Heritage Festival has proven to be an incredible opportunity for Burlingame and San Mateo students alike to get to know their fellow singers better and showcase their talents.
“We haven’t not won an award during time in choir and I will aim to keep that streak until I graduate,” Cheng said.
The choir will have their final performance on May 17 at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center.