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San Marcos Vocal Ensembles Take Top Honors at Music Festivals

Madrigal Singers hailed as 'one of the best' at the National Invitational, and Enchante earns the highest marks at the Heritage Festival

The San Marcos High School Vocal Department traveled the country during spring break and came home with the top awards in two music festivals.

The San Marcos Madrigal Singers received the highest score at the National Invitational Music Festival of Gold in New York City, and Enchante received the first-place trophy for Women’s Choirs and also the top overall choir score in the Heritage Festival held at Lincoln High School in San Diego.

The San Marcos Madrigal Singers traveled to Manhattan last March 24-29 to participate in the National Invitational Music Festival of Gold held at St. Bartholomew’s Church. The group received the highest scores of any group participating in the festival, receiving a score of 95 from three adjudicators.

“We were honored to perform with other recognized choirs and established adjudicators and are happy our hard work and dedication were seen in our winning performance,” said Lindsey Davis, a senior soprano.

The group impressed the adjudicators so much that San Marcos was invited to submit applications to perform at the national conference for the American Choral Directors Association, in which only a rare pool of the top choirs in the nation are invited to perform. In addition, festival director Michael Huff, who is the director of special programs in the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University, told the group: “You are one of the best groups in the nation.”

The San Marcos Madrigal Singers made sure to wisely use their time while in Manhattan. The group visited the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center site, Wall Street and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the docent presented a special tour tailored to the musical group, presenting artwork and composition in the same concepts the group uses for intelligent and expressive singing.

San Marcos High's Enchante received the first-place trophy for Women’s Choirs and the top overall choir score at the Heritage Festival in San Diego.
San Marcos High’s Enchante received the first-place trophy for Women’s Choirs and the top overall choir score at the Heritage Festival in San Diego. (San Marcos High School photo)

The Madrigals also gave several performances throughout the city, including the Trinity Church, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine near Columbia University and impromptu concerts in various subway stations.

“It was fantastic to visit so many historical and cultural places in New York,” senior soprano Kristin Anderson said. “It truly was a wonderful trip.”

The San Marcos Enchante women’s group participated in two festivals in the San Diego area. On April 1, the group performed in the Southern California Vocal Association Festival, receiving a 98.5 score from two judges and a plaque for a Superior performance. The group then traveled to San Diego’s Lincoln High School for the San Diego Heritage Festival. At the two-day festival, Enchante was awarded the first-place trophy for Women’s Choirs and was awarded the top overall group of the festival, beating out other vocal groups in different divisions with scores of 98 from the judges.

“It was the best feeling knowing all of our hard work over the past two months was acknowledged and appreciated,” junior second soprano Sierra Clark said.

“The judges were extremely complimentary and appreciated their ability to sing and communicate the text,” said Carolyn Teraoka-Brady, the San Marcos High School Vocal Department director. “I couldn’t be more proud of being a teacher here in the performing arts department at San Marcos High School.”

Madrigals and Enchante are part of the San Marcos High School Vocal Department and have been directed for the past 12 years by Teraoka-Brady. In addition to the previous groups, Teraoka-Brady also directs the Men’s Ensemble (Royal Knights), A Cappella Choir and Girls Chorus. She also serves as the vocal director for the San Marcos Performing Arts Department spring musical, which will present the Tony Award-winning Me and My Girl on May 5-7 and May 12-14.

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

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