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San Marcos Vocal Groups Receiving Rave Reviews

Madrigals and Royal Knights earn high scores from the judges at spring choral festivals

The San Marcos High School Madrigals perform at the National Invitational Choral Festival of Gold held last month at the Sergerstom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.

The San Marcos High School Madrigals perform at the National Invitational Choral Festival of Gold held last month at the Sergerstom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.  (San Marcos High School photo)

By Aaron Solis for San Marcos High School |

Spring is in the air, meaning the San Marcos High School Vocal Department is receiving rave reviews during the spring music festival season.

The San Marcos High School Madrigals received the highest score for any group at the National Invitational Choral Festival of Gold held last month at the Sergerstom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.

The group outperformed all men’s, women’s, combined, large and small choir groups, and even outperformed all orchestras and bands at the adjoining the National Invitational Band and Orchestra Festival of Gold. According to director Carolyn Teraoka-Brady, one of the judges gave the Madrigals a standing ovation. The group was also selected to sing the final concert of the evening.

While at the Festival of Gold, the San Marcos Madrigals participated in an Honor Choir performance of John Rutter’s “Gloria” with brass, percussion ensemble, organ and massed choir performance, and a one-hour rigorous clinic with Dr. Don Brinegar of USC.

The previous week, five members of the San Marcos Madrigals were selected to sing in the California All-State Choir concert held in Pasadena on March 25. Megan Zink, David Childs, Hannah Turk, Jessica Kozachuk and Christian Hirsch were part of the 300-member group who were chosen during an audition period this past October. That same weekend, the Madrigals were honored to be mentored by Dr. Anton Armstrong, the director of St. Olaf Choir in Minnesota and one of the country’s leading choral directors.

The Madrigals weren’t the only group to receive recognition over spring break. The Royal Knights, San Marcos’ male vocal group, performed at the Central Coast Choral Festival held at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo on March 23. The Royal Knights, an ensemble of 45 men, received “A” scores from all the judges, including renowned director Dr. Robert Istaad, the department chairman of Choral Studies at Cal State Fullerton. The Royal Knights were one of only 16 groups out of 65 to receive Recognition of Excellence status from the festival.

Next up for the San Marcos High School Vocal Department, the Madrigals will compete in their competitive festival to date, the Golden State Choral Festival on April 24 at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. San Marcos will be one of the 12 top Southern California choirs to perform the same piece and one song of their own selection. First Congregational Church of Los Angeles is home to one of the largest organs in the world.

The San Marcos Performing Arts Department, which includes the Vocal Department, will also be staging and performing the Cole Porter musical Kiss Me Kate at 7 p.m. May 3-5 and May 10-12. The Vocal Department will have its year-end concert on May 30 at San Roque Church, 3200 Calle Cedro in Santa Barbara.

— Aaron Solis is activities director for San Marcos High School.




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