Golden voices

Ingrid Chang

 Variations recently brought back a gold award from their New York Trip, continuing the legacy from last year

Before April 8, a few people from Variations were skeptical of winning the gold award at the New York’s Festival of the Gold. But after going to New York and arriving back on April 12th, that view changed. 

Last year, the Festival of the Gold was held in Los Angeles, whereas this year it was in New York City. Around 32 choirs participated in this prestigious program, where only previous gold winners are able to be invited to the next annual festival the following year. Variations was one of the 21 choirs to get the gold again by scoring over 90 points out of 100 this year. The average score they received was 93 points not only earning themselves that gold medal, but also an invitation back for next year. In New York, Variations participated in Festival of the Gold and ended up with a gold award, surprising many members. Photo courtesy of Tiffany Woo.

"We were nervous that we would bring down the standard because last year’s Variations set a pretty high bar for us," senior Michael Wu said. "They got a pretty high score."

After hearing that they received the gold, some members were surprised because they had expected a silver due to some mishaps in the songs. While singing "All My Heart This Night Rejoices" by Z. Randall Stroope, the second to last song, Wu and some others believed that the key was off and shaky from the beginning. This brought down their confidence for "Cum Sancto Spiritu" by Antonio Vivaldi, a song that they believed to be one of the best from their repertoire.  

"We were all cheering [after hearing about the gold] because some of us were [not confident] with how we sang. The majority [of us] thought we did really [well], but a few of us kind of thought our last two songs weren’t that good," Wu said. "We just hoped we would win." 

What was even more exciting for them was that they had gotten a perfect five for general effect which includes the attitude and the appearance of the choir. Variations had been working on presentation and poise as a group from the beginning of the year, but it wasn’t until the actual performance when they were truly motivated to leave a good impression and show their passion for the music. 

"[Music teacher Shari D’Epiro] wanted us to have emotion and not just to sing blandly," senior Charles Huh said. 

After spending three days in New York and singing at multiple places from Central Park to Italian restaurants for practice, the members believed that Variations has held up to previous MVHS’ standards.

"We wanted to represent MVHS at its best," senior Tiffany Woo said. 

And with the gold, they definitely did, even through one of the school colors