Dougherty’s musicians gear up for the final concert of the year

The final concert for instrumental music and choir is right around the corner, and the music program is prepared to display their best sounds yet for the audience.

Although their repertoire isn’t completely established, each choir has a wide array of pieces prepared that exhibit their vast improvement in technique and performance since the fall concert.

“The choirs have become more cohesive … there’s a richer sound and a depth to their sound [now]. There’s a maturity that wasn’t there in the fall concert,” says Ms. Diana Walker, choir director at DVHS.

Junior and chamber singer Hyunsu Jang has also witnessed the choir’s growth over the year, noticing that they have broken through their fear of making mistakes and became closer as friends.

“At the beginning of the year, Chamber [Choir] definitely came in unsure of their own unique voices… but I think we’ve overcome that hesitance and [have] become more confident in our abilities, which has advanced our choir towards greater blend and consistent intonation,” Jang reflected.

Though the song line-up isn’t entirely decided on, there are a few songs that Walker is already excited to present to the audience.

The first is “Dies Irae” by Z. Randall Stroope, a fiery and passionate piece, whose title translates to “Day of Wrath.” This song features mixed meter timing and vivid dynamic contrast, and is to be performed by Treble Clef.

Junior and Concert Choir member Olivia Lee has a different take on which song is the most exciting to reveal to the audience.

“Normally, we do a lot of classical music, but one song we’re singing is ‘May It Be’ from ‘Lord of The Rings.’ It’s different because it features both English and Quenya, which is the elvish language from the series,” Lee commented about the piece.

Another piece Walker is excited for the audience to see is “The Ground,” by Ola Gjeilo, which has a floaty, ethereal sound and is to be performed by a mix of Concert Choir and Chamber Singers.

“The Ground” is also going to be featured by the two groups at the Golden State competition on May 16. The Golden State competition features 10 northern Californian high school choirs for each of the categories: concert choirs and chamber choirs. With all the preparation, Walker believes that her choirs are ready for the competition.

“I think the choirs are very well-prepared and are improving on a daily basis. We have the benefit of working with many clinicians which have helped us improve our musicality overall for the competition.”

Concert Choir is performing Josu Elberdin’s “Cantate Domino,”  performed at the winter concert, and will debut the aforementioned “The Ground” and “Geistliche Chormusik” by Heinrich Schütz, which are to be performed at the spring concert.

The Chamber Singers will perform “Swan Geese” by DV alumna Mo Zhao and “Earth Song” by Frank Ticheli, which were both performed at previous concerts, and will debut “The Bluebird” by Charles Villiers Stanford, which will also be part of their spring concert repertoire.

While the DVHS choirs plan to entertain the audience with their melodious voices, the band also aims to amaze all spectators with their symphonic musicality.

When asked about the band’s development since the last concert, Ms. Teri Musiel, one of Dougherty’s instrumental music teachers, said, “As a band, we hit all the right notes at the right time. All musical pieces have different emotions. It’s involving and conveying those emotions while playing, that is sometimes hard. That’s going to be the biggest improvement – trying to convey the intended message.”

The musical artists ultimately aim to convey their passion and emotions through the various pieces that will be displayed in the upcoming concert.

The spring concert will be the last DVHS performance for the senior band members, and will be celebrated as the band’s ‘senior night,’ to acknowledge all senior musicians.

Before the finale piece, the senior band members will talk about their future plans, including what they will be pursuing.

“It’s kind of cool,” Musiel said. “Many of the seniors choose to do music for the next four years.”

As for the younger band members, Musiel hopes that they will be inspired to embrace music as they pursue their careers.

Shreya Sanapala, a freshman in Concert Band 2, says, “I am definitely excited and thrilled to play in the spring concert. It’s amazing to see all the senior band members playing their last pieces and to visualize that in three years, I just might be in their place.”

The line-up hasn’t been finalized yet, but the band is prepared to play some lively music. There is no theme for the music for this concert — it’s mostly chosen by students.

“People have to come and find out [what the music will be],” Musiel says.

With all the hard work and preparation, the band is ready to give it their all in this final concert.

Musiel concludes, “The band has worked very hard. They really invested everything and [they] have really committed to music, even beyond the classroom … we’re going to take a lot of chances and risks. We’re putting it all out there.”

All of Dougherty’s musical artists will be performing their best pieces of the year at the spring concert on May 15 through May 18 at 7 p.m. in the DV Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for adults and can be bought on the webstore or at the door.