The Madrigal Singers of Santa Barbara High School, under the direction of Phillip McLendon, celebrated the 45th anniversary of their founding by performing on a concert tour of England and France.

They have been met with rave reviews during their June 10-21 tour.

The group was invited to perform full-length concerts in noted historical venues. At four of these sites, the Madrigal Singers hold the distinction of being the first American high school choir invited to perform, and at one site they are still the only American high school choir to have been accorded the honor.

The Madrigals’ tour concluded with two concerts in Paris, one at Notre Dame Cathedral (fifth appearance) and the other at Eglise de la Madeleine (third appearance). Audiences at both concerts responded to their performances with standing ovations.

Educational side trips included visits to the British Museum in London, the Louvre Museum in Paris and the World Heritage Site of Mont St. Michel in Normandy, where they sang informally.

During their 45 years, the Santa Barbara High School Madrigal Singers have been honored for musical excellence by many agencies and organizations, including the American Choral Directors Association, the former Music Educators National Conference, the City of Santa Barbara, the California Assembly and the U.S. State Department.

The Madrigal Singers and McLendon wish to thank the choir’s parents and family members, the City of Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara High School communities, Principal John Becchio, as well as friends and alumni of the choir in the United States and Europe for their support in fundraising for their 2013 tour of England and France.

— Barbara Keyani is the administrative services and communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.