Upper school vocalists and the ensemble Camerata represented Harker extremely well at the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Solo and Ensemble Festival on March 12 at San Jose State University.
Students are required to prepare a classical piece to present to a judge, who listens to them and offers critique and advice, much like a one-on-one master class. The judge fills out a comprehensive score sheet with comments which the students keep, and assigns soloists and groups a rank: superior, excellent, good, fair or needs improvement. At the judge’s discretion, a command performance ranking may be added on to a superior, indicating truly outstanding work.
Harker’s musicians were fortunate in their judge this year, a retired voice teacher from the Sacramento area, whose thoughtful insights and gentle humor gave them tremendous confidence and useful tips. For Harker’s Conservatory students, the CMEA festivals are really about these encounters with experts, rather than the scores they receive, and several singers noted how useful the judge’s comments were.
Command performance superiors were awarded to Michelle Holt and Vrinda Goel, grade 12; Katie Marcus Reker, grade 11; and Nina Sabharwal, grade 10. Ashima Agrawal, grade 11, received a superior. Others participating in the festival were seniors Mallika Dhaliwal and Shireen Moshkelani, and juniors Govi Dasu, Sebastian Herscher, Alex Najibi, Bridget Nixon and Lucy Xu. Members of Camerata are Timothy Chou, Mallika Dhaliwal, Ram Seeni, grade 12; Govi Dasu, Sebastian Herscher, grade 11; Cristina Jerney, Nina Sabharwal, Indu Seeni, Pooja Shah, Wendy Shwe, Alice Tsui and Lydia Werthen, grade 10.
Students Wendy Shwe, grade 10 and Diane Villadsen, grade 12, and faculty members Susan Nace and Catherine Snider provided piano accompaniment for the singers.