This year, the Coastal Region High School Honor Choirs accepted four students from San Marin: seniors Katie Mayfield, Lauren Whyte and Ray Harris, along with freshman Devin Thompson.
The Honor Choir is an organization with a founding mission that empowers choral musicians to create transformative experiences for California’s diverse communities. Students who have a passion and heart for singing come together to prepare for a concert, while learning techniques and skills to improve their talent.
To audition, the students had to work on tonal memory, sightread, memorize an Italian art song, sing the chromatic scale and the major/minor triads and get tested on their vocal range. The three day conference took place from November 16 to 18 in San Mateo, and the concert was that Saturday. Harris, Mayfield and Whyte had been to the conference the previous year, and agreed that it was an amazing experience.
“It was really cool to find people that actually cared, tried, and were passionate about music,” Mayfield said.
The conference also allowed the students to gain skills that they could not obtain before.
“It was nice hearing from overqualified people to pick up tips and tricks and apply it when I came back,” Whyte said.
As the only freshman from the school that auditioned and was accepted, Thompson said before the event that she was excited to experience singing in a big choir all together.
“I’m looking forward to singing with a giant choir because I’ve sang in a
choir during middle school, but that was a lot less people than this time,” Thompson said.
Harris had advice for those who didn’t step out of their bubble or those who hindered from trying out.
“If this is something that you want in your life, you’ve got to do it,” Harris said. “You’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t try out in the first place. If you don’t do it, too bad, but it’s another missed opportunity that will help you grow as a person. It’s not hurting anyone else but you.”
Rejection was also a big fear that they had faced before.
“You’re sometimes going to get rejected in life, but you’ve got to pass that. That was really hard for me to understand last year, which is why I didn’t audition and gave excuses thinking I’m not going to get in, but you’re never going to know until you try,” Mayfield said.
Harris gave some words of encouragement to those who had been
rejected multiple times. “Lady Gaga got rejected 15 times from record labels, but look at her now, she’s a global superstar.”