The student perspective on choir comp season

A closer look at the choir competition season and how it affects students


Los Alamitos Show Choir

A photo of Brandon Manzanares performing with fellow Sound FX students for their competition set.

Jonas Corliss, Staff Writer

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — Los Alamitos High School Choir is in the middle of its competition season. In order to get a better insight into the experience, the Griffin Gazette interviewed Brandon Manzanares, a Los Al senior and choir student.

Manzanares has been in choir since he was in the fourth grade. Currently, he is in Xtreme, the men’s choir, and Sound FX, the advanced mixed choir. For the purpose of this article, the interview was focused on his experience in Sound FX. Manzanares is one of the VMCs (Vocal Music Coordinators) of Sound FX.

“I basically do administrative work… making sure things run smoothly,” described Manzanares. This includes dressing rooms, prop management, talking to parents, shirt designs, and much more.

Manzanares spoke about how comfortable the entire group is with each other, adding that this was something that was missing last year. That security allows them to be closer and work better together, which helps the group to put on a better show.

“When you have a group of 60 people that really want the same goal and everyone is willing to work for it, it’s like, boom.

— Brandon Manzanares

Since Sound FX and Soundtrax leave for New York for their national competition on March 22, that was another major focus of this conversation. So far this season, FX has gone undefeated, but New York raises the stakes. When asked if nerves had a big impact on performing, Manzanares responded calmly that it does not have a very significant effect on him or the other seniors.

On the contrary, he expressed how he was concerned about the younger members of the choir getting over-excited, which often leads to sloppier form and performance.

We know the notes. We know the choreography… We’re ready.

— Brandon Manzanares

The main concern Manzanares had was about the health of his choir mates.

“People are getting sick right now,” he said. He spoke about how this had affected the choir last year and how this year they are taking extra steps to ensure they remain healthy. Manzanares and his fellow VMCs have been encouraging people to take vitamins and drink teas to ensure that they are healthy enough to perform.

Overall Manzanares expressed confidence in himself and his choir, and hopes that people enjoy the moment.

“I just want to make sure they have fun,” he stated. With the choir going to New York from March 22 to March 27, they are sure to have a great time in the Big Apple. Be sure to give your support to Los Al Show Choir as they close out their 2023 competition season in the next few weeks!