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Carlsbad High School Show Choirs Win Six Awards at Burroughs Music Showcase

CHS Encore performs "Mean Girls"
CHS Encore performs "Mean Girls"

Carlsbad High School’s two show choirs traveled on Saturday to Burbank, CA to compete in the “Burroughs Music Showcase” and came home with six awards, including first place for Encore, the women’s intermediate show choir.

Encore competed against six southern Californian schools to sweep the awards, winning the Best Showmanship and Best Musicianship awards in their division.

Carlsbad High School sophomore Erica Schwartz won her second “Best Performer” title this season at Saturday’s event. According to Miss Schwartz, “Choir has made me a better person, leader and performer. I can honestly say choir has been the best thing to ever happen to me.”

In the Solo Competition, sophomore and Encore member Elle Dodaro won first place and the “Best Overall” title for her solo among a field of 40 soloists from ten different high schools. The judges said that Miss Dorado had “amazing style, vocal control, emotional connection, and a very bright future.”

Encore performed a 17-minute musical based on the movie “Mean Girls.” The set explores the challenges of finding one’s place among the different groups in high schools, including jocks, cheerleaders, Goths and “nerds.”  Damon Brown, Carrie Smith and John Marlow choreographed the set.

Sound Express, Carlsbad High School’s advanced show choir, featuring both male and female performers, faced fierce competition against seven other high schools throughout the region including one school from Canada. Sound Express senior, Emerson Diehl, caught the judges’ attention during their set and won “Best Performer” honors in her group.  

Sound Express’s 17-minute set is loosely based on the story of Robin Hood. It explores the conflicts in the caste system and celebrates the underdog. Damon Brown, Carrie Smith, John Marlow, Kyle Campbell, and Christina Campbell choreographed the set.

Both choirs performed under the direction of Jessie Bullock. His goal during his first year as Carlsbad High School’s choral director is to highlight the best in his students and instill the desire to improve with each opportunity. Bullock brings a wealth of experience, energy and enthusiasm to the CHS choral family. His background includes two years at Burbank High School, a well-known show choir school that inspired the TV series “Glee,” and three years implementing a brand new program from the ground up at Ontario High School in Ontario, CA.

When asked about this competition, Mr. Bullock responded, “Here at the end of the season, it’s great to see the kids really making their set excellent. We’ve been able to refine and recreate it to make the best show choir set we can. The kids brought their best performance of the year so far. This being my first year, it has been trial by fire at times. I’ve learned how the kids learn and they’ve learned how I teach. I definitely see how I can make changes to the program next year so that we can all do even better as a team.” 

Bullock directs all four choirs at Carlsbad High School: Sound Express, the advanced mixed show choir; Encore, the intermediate women’s show choir; Chamber Singers, the advanced mixed choir and Lancer Choir, the beginning mixed choir.

Both show choirs were proud to have competed in The Burroughs Music Showcase. It’s one of the most competitive events of the school show choir season. The judges at Burroughs scored each group on musicianship, including vocal tone, intonation, diction, interpretation, dynamics, and showmanship where chorus members are judged on creativity, execution, difficulty, precision, visual effect.

The showcase is a production of the John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association. The VMA has over 200 students including the students of "Powerhouse," one of the most recognized show choirs in the country. The group has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Dancing With the Stars, The CBS Evening News and NBC’s The Voice.  

Carlsbad High School’s last competition of the show choir season is on April 18th at the Southern California Show Choir Invitational. It will be held at Golden Hall in San Diego.

The public will have a chance to see all CHS choir students perform at their spring POPS performance in May. It will be held at the Carlsbad Cultural Arts Center May 29-30. Tickets will be available at the box office.

Carlsbad High School’s choral program is one of the few remaining choral programs in all of San Diego County. It strives to promote awareness, appreciation, and expression of the arts in the community.

The group is completely funded by donations. Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at www.CHSChoral.com

The Carlsbad Choral Boosters is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (tax ID 30-0208051)

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