Lauren Hannani culture editor
While the school year is coming to a close, there are still some performances to look forward to before heading into finals week, including the annual spring choir concert this week.
Scheduled for Wednesday, May 16, the show consists of a variety of different music styles and genres, including a selection sung in foreign languages and a medley of opening songs from different movies and shows.
“A lot of the songs we are doing will be familiar to a lot of students,” senior Lauren Aviram said. “We are doing a medley of openers from movies like the “Lion King,” “Sound of Music”, “Aladdin” and “Pippin.” We’re also doing a song from “The Greatest Showman,” which is very recent.”
The Madrigals singers will also be performing a piece they workshopped with the original composer and writer, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu and Abby Betinas.
“It’s amazing to see what their intentions were for the ensemble,” senior Daniel Kohanbash said. “They had specific comments they were able to add because they wrote the song in their vision.”
Some songs Madrigals will be performing will include other choirs in the vocal music program as well.
“I love all of it, especially listening to men’s choir, women’s concert choir and Minnesingers,” junior Andrew Liner said. “It’s phenomenal.”
For Kohanbash, this concert is all about showcasing the way all of the students have grown and improved as singers since they began the choir program.
“Expect the culmination of a year’s hard work,” Kohanbash said. “Every singer in the program, individually and within his or her ensemble, has grown immensely since the beginning of the year, and we have a lovely night filled with lovely music to look forward to.”
This concert will also be particularly sentimental for seniors, who will be singing with Madrigals for the last time. As part of their goodbye, some seniors have rehearsed their “Senior Act,” which is a song of their choice that they will sing individually or with a group at the concert.
“It’s going really well. We prepare individually or with our group, so there’s a lot of freedom that we have, as well as things we have learned over the past four years from Kikkawa that we can apply,” Aviram said. “I also get to do it with my best friends.”
Liner admits rehearsing for this particular concert has been more emotional and “bittersweet” than usual because of the senior acts.
“All of my friends are seniors, so it is really tough for me to say goodbye, and I’m still having a rough time with it, but I’m so proud and happy for what they have accomplished and continue to accomplish,” Liner said. “Those senior acts are incredible.”
This concert also marks the first time Madrigals teacher Stacy Kikkawa is watching students she has had for all four years perform at the spring concert.
“Each one of the senior classes that have graduated are special in their own way. This particular senior class is the beginning of a new era and generation of choral music at Beverly,” Kikkawa said. “They are the first full generation under one teacher after Mr. Pressman–I hope that he would be proud of us and how we’ve carried his musical legacy and influence.”
Whether they joined the choir program four years ago or this year, Kikkawa feels thankful to have had the opportunity to watch all of her students grow from when they first entered the class to now.
“I don’t just watch them grow as singers, but as people. I know that I’m incredibly lucky to have had some of these students for four years. Not every teacher is able to say that they have seen students grow, succeed, fail, laugh, cry, and all of the above for almost every day for four years, and I’m grateful,” she said. “This is also the first year where I have picked up some seniors who have only joined the Vocal Music Program for a year, or less. Although I haven’t known them for very long, I cherish every senior who has come through my door and has left as a better person than when they walked in.”
Kohanbash also feels lucky that he was able to sing with the program for four years and learn from Kikkawa for all of it.
“Students should see this as an opportunity to come and witness beautiful music being made, with a terrific director who put the whole thing together,” Kohanbash said. “Ms. Kikkawa has really transformed this program into something that people all around Beverly Hills are buzzing about again, since the passing of Mr. Pressman. She has recreated greatness.”
Seniors are looking forward to making their last choir concert a memorable one.
“I am most looking forward to hearing my name being called as a graduating senior,” Aviram said. “I’ve heard it for all of my friends in the past, and now it’s my turn.”
The concert will be held on Wednesday at the All Saints Episcopal Church at 7 p.m. Tickets can be bought at the door for 5 dollars.