MVHS Choir steals hearts in its Valentine’s Day Concert

Vocal performers delight in charming, high-energy performances but suffer from underwhelming acoustics


Shivani Verma

MVHS Choir sings in their Valentine’s Day Concert on Feb. 16, 2022.

Sonia Verma, Staff Writer

The week of Valentine’s Day was a big one for the MVHS Choir — along with delivering Singing Valentines, it prepared for its annual Valentine’s Day concert. Directed by Choir teacher Amy Young, the MVHS Choir performed Keys to Your Heart: A Valentine’s Day Concert on Feb. 16 featuring different genres of songs from around the world.

The concert opened with “Tshotshaloza,” a high-energy African folk piece. Folk music was a recurring theme throughout the concert. The full ensemble used this piece to showcase the quality and harmony of their voices together. After the opening song, each of the choirs (Esperanza, Bella Voce, Low Key and Variations with the addition of Tenor and Bass Harmonies) performed their own songs. The following songs were more downbeat and relaxed, really leaning into the folk and soul genre, with a few popular songs splashed in as well, like “Home” by Avicii.

Members also performed their Singing Valentines, which are largely student-organized, with the choir students choosing their themes and arranging covers of popular love songs. During the concert, Singing Valentines were performed by section — first Bella Voce and then Variations. During the concert, each Singing Valentine group selected a member of the audience to “deliver” the valentine to. The resulting interactive atmosphere of the concert allowed the performers to convey far more entertainment and charm than their previous performances. The addition of the Singing Valentines made the concert more personal and set it apart from other MVHS music concerts. 

A Singing Valentine group from Variations performs “Stereo Hearts”. (Kripa Mayureshwar)

The songs performed by the two advanced choirs, Bella Voce and Variations, were significantly more full and harmonious than those of Esperanza, Low Key and Tenor and Bass Harmonies. While the three less advanced choirs had a good musical quality, the voice projection wasn’t strong enough, with even closer rows of the audience having difficulty hearing their performance clearly. During the few songs that had soloists, the contrast between the natural voice of the choir and the soloist’s amplified voice through the microphone was a bit jarring. 

The lighting for the first part of the concert was awkward. There were no people singing in the front for the first half of the show when the choir was singing in groups as the bleachers were in the back half of the stage. Thus, the front lighting could have been reduced for the parts when the entire choir was singing, and the stage could have used more backlighting and downlighting from the ceiling. For the Singing Valentines portion of the performance, however, the lighting was perfect, drawing the audience’s attention to the performers in the center of the stage.

The Valentine’s Day concert ended with the song “Heart and Soul,” a recurring tradition of MVHS Choir. Overall, the program and performance were well thought out and rehearsed. The progression of the songs throughout the show was very logical, starting with a high-energy song and then toning it down gradually and ending with a heartfelt cover of “Heart and Soul.” However, even within close proximity to the stage, it was hard to hear when an individual section sang by itself. Despite the acoustic limitations, MVHS Choir delivered a breathtaking and well-rehearsed performance.

Rating: 3.5/5

Keys To Your Heart: A Valentine’s Day Concert

  1. Tshotshaloza (Combined Choirs), Traditional South African, arr. Jeffrey Ames – 00:14 – 3:57
  2. Come Travel With Me (Low Key), by Scott Farthing – 7:00 – 9:15
  3. Fix You (Low Key & Esperanza), opb Coldplay, arr. Phillip Lawson – 10:05 – 14:55
  4. Home (Tenor Bass Harmonies), opb Phillip Phillips, arr. Alan Billingsley – 17:22 – 20:44
  5. Long Time Traveller (Esperanza), opb The Wailin’ Jennnys – 22:16 – 24:35
  6. Blue Bird (Esperanza & Bella Voce), Korean Folk Song, arr. Jungsun Lee – 25:24 – 27:52
  7. When The Earth Stands Still (Bella Voce), opb Don McDonald – 29:14 – 32:07
  8. Bella Voce Singing Valentines
    1. Electric Love – 33:12 – 34:13
    2. I’m Yours – 34:15 – 36:41
    3. Lovin’ Is Easy – 37:49 – 38:20
  9. Twa Tanbou (Variations), by Syndey Guillaume – 40:47 – 44:35
  10. Variations Singing Valentines
    1. Stereo Hearts – 45:38 – 46:58
    2. Love On Top – 47:37 – 50:00
    3. Love Song – 50:39 – 52:08
    4. Boys Like You – 52:38 – 55:04
    5. Umbrella – 55:46 – 57:06
  11. Heart and Soul (Combined Choirs), by Frank Loesser – 58:12 – 1:00:46