Carlmont Choir’s ‘American Songbook’ is a joyous success

Charlie McBrian, Staff Writer

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The Performing Arts Center was packed last Friday, March 23, as audiences went to see Carlmont Choir’s spring concert entitled “American Songbook.”

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  • Audiences settle into their seats before the performance.

  • The Singing Scots perform "Unclouded Day."

  • Freshman Aaron Lee sings "The Lone Prairie." There were many memorable solo's throughout the night.

  • Choir group Out of the Blue performs "The Best of Doo Wop."

  • Students perform a surprise Michael Jackson medley, including hit songs such as "Billy Jean" and "Man in the Mirror."

  • The night ended as it began. The Singing Scots perform "Let the River Run" and "Shenandoah."

  • Students wave goodbye to the audience as the curtain closes.

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“American Songbook” covered a variety of selections from America’s past, much of which was largely based on the songbook of the same name.

“We have a bit of jazz, a bit of folk, a bit of musical theater, a bit of contemporary music,” long-term substitute and interim Choir Director Matthew Goulart said. “It’s a huge musical roller coaster that you wouldn’t normally see at a choir concert.”

Goulart took the reins as choir director after long-time Choir Director Genevieve Tep went on maternity leave for most of the year. To some, like sophomore Sarah Dunwoody, this transition was quite jarring.

“It’s been a tough adjustment,” Dunwoody said. “Part of the reason I’m so excited for the spring concert is because Tep is finally back.”

Other students, like Miles Ramsdell-Ray, a senior, learned a lot from Goulart and appreciated his presence.

“I was put in choir on accident, and it’s one of the best high school experiences I’ve had,” Ramsdell-Ray said. “I learned so much from Goulart, and I understand music in a whole new way.”

Sophomore Nick Thompson has been doing choir since middle school and continues to sing.

“What it all comes down to is the fact that I love to sing,” Sophomore Nick Thompson said. “If I didn’t have choir, I wouldn’t be who I am right now.”

Students have been practicing for this concert for the entire third quarter, with many, like Rafael Montalvo, devoting much of their free time to practicing for the concert.

“Working hard to make this happen is pretty boring, but pretty necessary as well,” Montalvo said. “I’m pretty sure the results will pay off.”

Despite false start or two, the night went quite smoothly, and the concert was received warmly by the audience, evident by the thunderous applause that followed each performance. 

“It’s good to see all the kids enthusiastic and having fun,” parent Mike Binnard said. “In Silicon Valley especially, it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race. But if you don’t take time to appreciate the arts, what’s the point?”

Choir’s next concert, pops concert, is more casual and based on contemporary hits. By that time, Tep will have returned and Goulart’s tenure as choir director will be over.

“This year has been one big learning experience, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it,” Goulart said.

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