Venice Students To Perform In California All-State Honor Choir


Amy Carranza, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Three Venice High students have been handpicked to perform with the California All-State Honor Choir.

Participants include seniors Chaya Forman, Eric Lee, and Victor Oguekwe.

These few students, who are representing all of LAUSD, were previously selected to be in the Southern California Vocal Association High School Honor Choir last semester.

The All-State Honor Choir follows the SCVA mission, which is to empower California musicians by creating a community with music.

Music teacher Wendy Sarnoff, the Venice High choir director, commended the seniors for their excellence.

“We are the only school in LAUSD that is going to All-State this year, and I don’t have six choirs,” she said. “I have two really small choirs and we meet up like a little fleet at lunchtime, so for us to get in, you know? It’s awesome.”

Prior to their acceptance into All-State, students had to prove their musical knowledge by auditioning in their division. Being able to read music is the bare minimum.

“I’m singing at Soprano I now—the highest singing voice out of four—which is a little higher than I sing, but we are given our music at least two weeks beforehand,” she said. “Usually half of them are in English, and then the other half are all in different languages.”

The rehearsals for All-State will be Thursday, February 17 to Saturday, February 19 at Fresno State University and will culminate in concert performances at Saroyan Theatre.

“All-State is basically a multi-day intensive workshop, and it’s the next level of competitive high school choir,” Forman said. “It’s going to be reviewing harder material and the stakes are a lot higher, but I’m excited. It’s great to be around people who understand music and love also creating music as much as you do.”

In addition to All-State, three other Venice High students will attend the Choral Leadership Academy. 

Choral Leadership Academy, SCVA, and All-State are all affiliated with the California Choral Directors Association, but are not the same programs.

Choral Leadership Academy is a multi-day event that will be happening from Friday, February 18, and Saturday, February 19, at the Fresno Convention Center. It is for students who have experience with music and show interest in pursuing a musical career.

This year’s participants include junior Leslie Panameno, and freshmen Bibi Ciment and Nathan Rice. 

“What Mrs. Sarnoff has always told us is that if you know music, you can do anything,” Panameno said. “I have always been fascinated by music, so if this is going to help me, then I’ll throw myself out there.”