Strong SMHS Showing for All-State Honor Choir

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someonePrint this page
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK San Marino High School seniors Kyle McCall (from left), Allen Liu, Rachel Mochizuki, Jeff Xu, Richard Li and Selina Ho represented SMHS’s choir program at the All-State Honor Choir in San Jose last month.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
San Marino High School seniors Kyle McCall (from left), Allen Liu, Rachel Mochizuki, Jeff Xu, Richard Li and Selina Ho represented SMHS’s choir program at the All-State Honor Choir in San Jose last month.

Six of San Marino High School’s seniors represented the school in San Jose on Presidents’ Day weekend, showcasing their vocal skills among the other 250 or so in California selected for the 2017 All-State Honor Choir.
The days ahead of the culminating performance had the state’s top choir students divide into boys, girls and mixed groups to rehearse the songs and learn to work with each other. Given that everyone was in San Jose because they had already successfully auditioned for their regional honor choir (Northern, Central and Southern California), the sense of competition was gone.
At least, formally.
“A lot of people there are really competitive,” said senior Allen Liu. “It’s too much work being competitive.”
Liu’s five fellow senior classmates echoed in agreement.
“The only competitive factor is actually getting in,” Richard Li said.
Before heading to San Jose, the students had to be familiar with the music they were expected to perform and they were tested on their familiarity as soon as they registered, Selina Ho explained.
Ho, Li, Liu and classmates Kyle McCall, Rachel Mochizuki and Jeff Xu said they practiced 9 hours for each of the three days before the performance, which they admitted might be a bit hard on their voices but was worthwhile nonetheless. They all agreed being able to meet fellow choir singers from around the state was a fun experience and said they spent time exploring San Jose’s food scene.
San Marino’s public school students are required to take a choir class in elementary school, but it becomes an extracurricular at Huntington Middle School onward. Most of this group has participated since then.
“I was supposed to be a band kid,” Mochizuki noted, laughing. “My friend Steph dragged me into choir.”
Some anxiety permeated from the group, resulting from the choir’s upcoming tour coinciding with the time high school seniors typically expect to receive their college admission letters in the mail. A couple of them said they may choose a choir-related minor in college, but all said they would at least participate as an extracurricular.
That anxiety didn’t stop Li or McCall from looking forward to their flight to Minneapolis for the National Honor Choir performance on Saturday. The two are among about 100 total chosen nationwide and are two of the 30 tenors who will perform.
They said they hope to have some challenging songs in their playbooks.
“Harder songs are usually better and more fun to do,” McCall said.

Leave a Reply