Choirs earn highest honors despite funding limits


Photo By Gladys Zamora

Bass choir performing at Warnor’s Theater

Hodda Alazani, Staff Writer

The chamber, bass, treble, and concert choirs recently earned some of the highest ratings possible at the Fresno State Invitational Choir Festival. Chamber choir received the highest ranking of a unanimous superior, concert earned a superior and both the treble and bass choirs ranked excellent. This has been made possible through long practices, dedication, and teamwork. Regardless, some of Central’s choirs competitions and performances are limited by scarce funding.

The sheer difficulty of their pieces, as well as performance refinement, accounted for their success. Some of their musical choices were performed in other languages or demanded a more extensive vocal range. Choir director Jacob Bailey said that although the selections are challenging “the kids still do it, and do it well.” Sophomore chamber choir member Cadee Christiansen explained, “You can’t walk into a band room, pick up an instrument, and just play it. It’s the same way in choir; your voice takes a lot of practice, just like any other instrument.”

Choir is a place that I can go and be myself.”

— Maja Cannon

Bailey, along with many of the choir members say they are especially proud of scoring as well, if not better than many of the larger, fully-funded groups in the area. They have faced various challenges due to lack of resources. In fact, though the group was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall. They had to decline after they were unable to raise enough money for the trip.

Despite this, morale and hope is still high. Junior chamber choir member Maja Cannon explains all four groups commit to countless hours outside of class to remain this competitive. “Seeing the hard work pay off, and getting scores like these the most rewarding thing,” Maja explains.

The culture of the choir program also contributes to their dedication. According to students, choir is a place of family and community where anyone from any social group can join and sing together. It’s somewhere to meet friends, create a home, and gain confidence. Senior Choir Club president Jules Lopez says, “I’ve been to a lot of schools and choir was something that was always there.” Cannon adds, “Choir is a place that I can go and be myself.”

According to Bailey, choir is a growing program open to anyone who likes to sing or wants to try something new. Christiansen, who has been involved in choir most of her life, encourages students to join. She says even those who are shy at first end up loving it and coming back the next year.