Choir performs in vocal festival

Singers receive praise, feedback


Used with written permission from Eva Arago.

Choir rehearsing before their performance at Chanhassen High School Apr. 6. They sang 'Gloria', 'Baba Yetu' and 'Bar So Re'.

Junior Eva Arago said she was pleased with the choir’s performance during one of its yearly choir festivals April 6.

According to Arago, the choir traveled to Chanhassen High School to compete in a choir festival with high school choirs from around the metro area.

Choir teacher John Myszkowski said the festival is a chance for choirs to receive feedback from other choirs and professors.

“The choirs listen to each other and there are university professors (that) take turns working with choirs as they come up,” Myskowski said. “(The festival is) just for comments and coachings with the professors.”

Myszkowski said he picked out the three songs for the choir to perform.

“We performed three (songs), we did ‘Baba Yetu’ which is actually from a videogame called ‘Civilization IV’, then a classical one from Mozart called ‘Gloria’ from the Twelfth Night and then another song from a Bollywood movie called ‘Bar So Re’,” Myszkowski said.

Arago said despite the choir’s well-received performance, it still has room for improvement.  

“To improve, we are going to keep choosing hard songs to sing and work more on the basics to get higher scores,” Arago said. “We did really well in working together and the judges really liked it. Also, the people that did solos were super good.”

Arago said seniors Eben Manegbe, Santeyne Thornton and Camaja Byrd performed solos during the choir’s concert.

Manegbe said she was happy with her solos during “Baba Yetu” and “Gloria.”

“The rhythm and beat of the song was quite uplifting and fun to perform. It wasn’t a big solo, however, it was emotional in which I was singing the song together with the entire choir,” Manegbe said.

Thornton said his connection with “Baba Yetu” allowed him to sing with passion and emotion.

“I feel like I had a big emotional connection with the whole song in general,” Thornton said. Since it is the Lord’s Prayer translated in Swahili, I feel great amounts of passion and it just feels like the Lord is right there with me singing the song beside me.”

Myszkowski said the choir needs to work on its blending during entrances.

“They are still not super clean on entrances being exactly together. So like when the sopranos came in it sounded like one person,” Myszkowski said. “I’d say that is one thing that other schools are doing better than us right now.”