Ayala Choir Benefit Concert

By: Nurene Canawati

   The Ayala choir starts off the new year with a Benefit Concert for students from other districts that are in need of any help, whether recovering from a school shooting or the schools that have experienced severe destruction due to natural disasters. This year the Benefit Concert will be held in the MPR on February 14th, which is Valentine’s Day, with doors opening at 6:30pm and the show starting at 7:00pm. 

   According to Choir Director Mr. Robert Davis, every school year the Ayala choir puts on a Benefit concert to help raise money for funds for a student or a parent in need. This year's Benefit Concert is a tribute to the Erbest Family because the vocal coach Mrs. Kristen Erbest passed away this year. Mrs. Erbest used to coach two seniors Catherine Flores and Marrisa Venezuela from Ayala.

   Since it is 2020, the Ayala Choir wants to start the new decade with an amazing show that will benefit someone in our local community. This year Mr. Davis is expecting a large audience for this concert because the song list will feature many different languages, including but not limited to Spanish, Portuguese, and French. 

   Mr. Davis often motivates the vocal ensemble with the motto: “Professionalism is the key to success.” Under Mr. Davis’s direction, Ayala is considered to be one of best choir programs in the state of California with the opportunity to go perform at a CASMEC, California All-State Music Education festival to go against top colleges and also top high schools in  competition.

   In choir this year Mr. Davis uses another quote to motivate his whole choir class: “Wrong & Strong is the power of singing.”  Every year, starting the month of January, choir begins practicing and rehearsing right after school because the Benefit Concert is held next month of February. Mr. Davis is expecting his choir ensembles to sing their concert pieces on point as they are performing on stage in front of a live audience. 

   Mr. Davis uses this quote from Bono to motivate his own choir students to help sing better everyday: “Music can change the world because it can change people.” 

The vocal ensemble at Ayala performs three concert pieces. One of the students in vocal ensemble Marrisa Venezuela said,  “It’s stressful and also time consuming to practice for this type of performance because they all do 7 concert pieces for this show but they become a family in choir and they have fun as they enjoy it.” 

   As the exciting conclusion to the show, all the ensembles are coming together for one epic song. The Vocal Ensemble, Women’s, and Men’s, the Silver Singers, and Mixed Chorus are performing one concert piece as a whole. They will then be joined by Canyon Hills Jr. High Choir at the end of the performance. This special event occurs every benefit concert and is always one of the most eagerly anticipated performances of the night. 

   Venezuela uses a quote to motivate herself every time she sings when she is in the choir room at Ayala: “Music is not perfect, the lyrics make it perfect.” To perfect one’s craft in singing, one cannot let the music notes emotionally affect you or get in the way of communicating the message of the song to the audience.  

   The alto and soprano are broken down into two groups as they perform on stage so they can make the song higher or lower, which makes the vocal range of the performance more dynamic. 

   Choir practices everyday to grow as singers so that they can achieve perfection singing in front of a live audience.  

   Johnson, to better herself as she is training, often says, “Music is all about practicing not memorizing.”