Written by David Seo
Photo by Thomas Forman
SPHS senior Michael Samudio became the newest addition to one of the most prestigious youth choruses Friday, October 6. Southern California High School Honors Choir (SCHSHC) summons 250 of the best young vocalists in the greater Los Angeles area to perform in a prestigious show at the University of Redlands this coming November.
The SCHSHC is managed under the larger Southern California Vocal Association, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting choral directors and advancing vocal music in Southern California. SCHSHC allows Samudio to convene with the strongest vocalists and instructors to achieve even further outside of the resources he has now. Admission is an honorable distinction for Samudio– he is the first SPHS vocalist in many years to join this choir.
The audition for SCHSHC is a particularly demanding one for even experienced vocalists like Samudio. Contenders are asked to prepare an Italian aria –– an operatic vocal piece –– and a rigorous understanding of music theory, assessed through sight reading and tonal memory tests. Two adjudicators judge the given vocalist’s skill level, listening for the correct pitches.
“I was so nervous for my audition; it felt like my heart was leaping out of my chest,” Samudio said. “After I received the news, I was so happy to see that all my hard work paid off. After all, it’s hard to tell if you’re good by yourself– this truly makes me confident in my singing ability.”
Samudio himself has been singing ever since he was a toddler. At SPHS, he has become a familiar voice in the choir program, even garnering a solo performance in his first year of the musical theatre class. This year, he is a tenor in the SPHS choir and has founded a Glee Club for vocalists outside of the choir program.
“I’ve always been impressed with Michael,” SPHS choral director Ms. Lia Donovan said. “I love to see him doing so well, especially since he is such a modest and kind person, yet has a quiet confidence that I know will help him succeed.”