AHS Class Feature: Chanteurs


Sophia Li, Staff Writer

Although the Arcadia Choral Program has been around since the start of Arcadia High School (AHS), the program itself is underrated. Over the course of several years and under the direction of several well-praised directors, the program has developed into one with passion, artistry, and a love for music. Of the two programs, Chanteurs and Concert Choir, Chanteurs is the advanced choir, the most notable with the highest-quality productions. 

Since Chanteurs is an advanced, auditioned choir, students must audition in the Spring to secure their spot on the team. In the first half of the year, students perform as a traditional concert choir, performing at festivals, school concerts, and concerts around the community. Then, in the second half of the year, after becoming more familiar with the process, students are able to raise their performances and transform themselves into a show choir. From here and on, the advanced show choir competes in local and state competitions, wowing audiences with not only their vocals but stunning costumes and performances as well. 

In 2020, Chanteurs had two main performances, one at the 2020 Burbank Blast Competition and one with a take on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem for his late father. 

In the first performance, the choir sang their own versions of “The Greatest Show” by Zendaya Coleman, Zac Efron, Hugh Jackman, and Keala Settle; “A Million Dreams” by Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, and Ziv Zaifman; “Never Enough” by Loren Allred; “Rewrite The Stars” by Zendaya Coleman and Zac Efron; “This Is Me” by Keala Settle and The Greatest Showman Ensemble. The performances were show-stopping to say the least, as every member of the choir had elaborate costumes, resembling characters from the movie. Everyone was into the music, and the performance was a huge success overall! Additionally, the 2020 Chanteurs choir also performed Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem! 

Now, fast forward to 2021-22, Ms. Connie Tu is the head director of both choir programs at AHS and the Chanteurs group has performed several times so far, from football games to winter concerts. Ms. Tu has been singing in choir for several years, and this year was her very first year teaching choir! She loves teaching choir and enjoys every second of it, as the students are very engaged and easy to work with. 

“My students always have a lot of energy and that’s what I look forward to coming to school every day,” Ms. Tu shared. “We worked on a variety of repertoires, and I am very proud of the progress that we have made thus far. Since this is our very first ‘real’ year back since the pandemic, a lot of events and concerts have been altered and modified.”

Kicking off the year strong, Chanteurs performed the Star-Spangled Banner for the Salter Stadium on Oct. 1, 2021, during a football game! It was an awesome experience to gain more exposure to the school and show off everyone’s talent. 

Then, Chanteurs sang at the Winter Concert on Dec. 10, 2021, which also featured Arcadia orchestras and a few people from the AHS band. Chanteurs performed amazingly as they gave off jolly holiday spirit, and sang from a wide selection of pieces. 

To start, they performed several pieces from “A Ceremony of Carols, Op.28” by Benjamin Britten, then “Sing my Song for You” by Demi Lovato ft. Joe Jonas, and “Everywhere Christmas Tonight” by Joseph M. Martin, and more. Afterward, several musical groups like the orchestra and singers performed pieces like “Christmas Dreidel” by Rick England, “The First Noel” arr. by Dan Forrest, and “I’ll Be Back for Christmas” arr. By Michael Hopkins. To add on, there was a stellar trio performance that sang “Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson. Then, to make a statement, the AHS Symphony Orchestra and Combined Choirs delivered a grand finale of “Festival Sanctus” by John Leavitt and “Sleigh Ride’ by Leroy Anderson and arr. by Mark Brymer!

Overall, the concert was a huge success, as various musical groups came together to put on a fantastic show. Everyone’s love for music and having a good time really shined through to the audience. 

As of right now, the Chanteurs choir is currently preparing for their third concert of the year and is in preparation for the Disneyland and Angel Stadium trips. 

“Our Concert Choir will also join us on these trips and will make the choir even bigger and fuller,” Ms. Tu said. “For our May concert, we will showcase students individually and Chanteurs will put on a show choir number. Although we will be very busy, we are very much looking forward to the next few months.” 

Sophomore Kelly Hong is one of the many performers in Chanteurs, and this is her first year in choir. In the beginning of the year, she really enjoyed the concert choir, being able to come together and sing unique songs. Hong was able to meet a lot of new friends and is looking forward to performing as a show choir! She is excited to perform because they will also have choreography and costumes to go along with the songs.

“I enjoyed Concert Choir during the first semester because it was great practice and really prepared us for advanced choir right now, especially with music theory and rhythms,” Hong said.  “It really helped people who were more new to music learn how to read and understand music notes.” 

Sophomore Emily Tran is also a member of Chanteurs and has been in the program since freshman year. Through Chanteurs, Tran has been able to further explore her interest in music/singing. Originally, she was in a choir outside of school, but being exposed to an environment in school was cool to be able to learn more things and create bonds with people. Since Tran was in Chanteurs since freshman year, she also performed virtual performances. 

“My favorite virtual performance was the Winter Concert because we were divided into small groups to learn different Christmas carols!” Tran shared. “Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I enjoy performing holiday songs. This year, my favorite song during the in-person Winter Concert was  Sanctus by Libera and Robert Prizeman because it was so fun to perform with the orchestra as our accompaniment.” 

However, Tran is not on her own, as Hong also enjoyed the Winter Concert the most. 

“It was the most memorable because we were able to dress up in holiday attire and we got to do some more silly songs instead of traditional ones like a song from Alvin And The Chipmunks,” Hong said. 

So far, the Chanteurs have gone off to a great start, being able to incorporate team-building skills along with a passion for singing and music. Good luck to Chanteurs for the rest of this year, as they have a really strong team of singers!


Photo courtesy of DCI