Los Al choir presents: Spotlight 2023

Los Alamitos High School Choir’s annual competition set show has arrived


Jonas Corliss

The marquee from the Thursday night showing of the Spotlight 2023 show.

Jonas Corliss, Staff Writer

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — It’s that time of the year again when the choir program presents its annual competition set.

All of the sets performed at this show are going to be the sets that they perform during their competition season, including nationals for Sound FX and SoundTrax, which takes place in New York this year.

The show started with Xpressions, the program’s concert choir. The vocals for this set were arguably the best of the whole show, likely helped by the lack of dancing. Their set focused on hope, kindness, and unity for people all over the world.

After this shorter set, soloist Callie Schmidt came out and did a performance of Heart of Stone. She did a wonderful job, displaying excellent vocals.

Screen showing the design of the ad for the Spotlight 2023 choir show. (Jonas Corliss)

Next came Axcent, the beginning women’s ensemble. Their set featured a theme of the spelling bee. The set was fun, featuring some of the most expressive acting out of all of the performances. All of the songs they performed tied back to the theme of spelling, like “No More Words.” This set had the highest amount of energy and exuded fun.

Following Axcent was Xquisite, the intermediate women’s ensemble. Their set followed a theme of gods, heavily inspired by the Disney film “Hercules.” The songs focused on self-empowerment and growth. The story focused on one girl growing and becoming a goddess as she is led by the four muses from “Hercules.” This set also featured costume changes that went well with the story they were telling.

Then comes Xtreme, the men’s ensemble. Xtreme’s set featured the theme of soccer, including the character Ted Lasso, played by senior Hudson McVey. The soccer theme is supported by the song, “Olé Olé Olé/Football is Life” being an obvious tie-in.

“It was really fun,” said freshmen Jason Khan. “The choreography was really good, especially for our song ‘Believer.'” 

The men displayed confidence through their set and gave a powerful performance.

Closing out the first act of the show was Soundtrax, the advanced women’s ensemble. Their set was directly inspired by the show “Bridgerton.” The set closely followed the story of the show, featuring songs about relationships and female empowerment, such as the song “Kings and Queens.”

“Working so hard has really let our confidence grow, both onstage and in our personal lives!” said senior Bela Penn.

Some of the best vocals of the entire show appeared in this set and showed why this group has won national championships.

The intermediate mixed choir Connexion on stage performing their Beetlejuice set. (Jonas Corliss)

Act two began with Connexion, the intermediate mixed show choir. This set was inspired by the film “Beetlejuice” with the set following the plot of the film. Chason Bytel as Beetlejuice and Alyson Bragg as Lydia Deetz both displayed fantastic and powerful performances.

“We still have a lot of work to do before we start competing, but I’m very proud of what we’ve done so far,” Bytel said.

Their vocals and acting bring life into the characters, making Connexion’s set the most entertaining of the night.

Soloist Jamie Nguyen followed this set. She delivered a powerful rendition of the song “The Winner Takes It All.” She displayed phenomenal, emotional vocals.

Rounding out the night was Sound FX, the advanced mixed show choir. This set followed the plot of the classic opera “Pagliacci.” Soloists Jay Garcia, Hudson McVey, and Arron Myers all put on outstanding performances, with Myers’ expressive dancing being the highlight of the set. The acting of all members of the choir truly sold the tragedy and extravagance of the original opera. Undoubtedly FX had the best set of the night.

The advanced mixed show choir Sound FX performing their set. (Jonas Corliss)

I was thoroughly impressed by the entire show. All of the choirs were incredible. The lighting and band were great, and overall the show was high quality. Be sure to support the Los Al choir as they go into their competition season.