From the left gypsies are trying to sell skirts and bracelets to commoners, from the right blacksmiths selling swords and other weaponry, from behind, the bellows of a hefty man yelling “beef for sale,” and throughout the festival music is carried on the wind as it echoes around the shops and stalls. The music came from a variety of voices, from small children to teenagers in high school.
Chamber and VOCE, two ensembles from the choir department, went to Houston’s Annual Renaissance Festival and entered a contest based on renaissance style music.
“The contest aspect of the festival is always fun,” junior Kenna Valadez said. “Competition simply adds to the excitement that we all have for the festival. Not only do we get to miss school, but we also get to sing a different style of music. (The music) sort of gives you perspective of what people did back in the day for entertainment.”
Regardless of the element of competition, a lot of the kids in choir were excited to simply be able to experience the festival with the rest of the choir.
“This was my first year going to the Renaissance Festival with choir,” VOCE member Gabby LaPerna said. “I have gone to the festival with my family before, but going with the choir was just a different feeling. I had a lot of fun and I kind of expected to because I’m going with the people I love.”
After receiving results back from the judge, neither choir placed. Many were devastated while others consoled one another and reminded themselves that “choir is more than just winning a contest.”
“I heard a lot of people just talk negatively about our own choir,” chamber member Emanuel Flores said. “So you know as choir council president I felt that I should have said something. And so, I told them, ‘You can’t have that type of mentality here. This is the first time this select choir has been here, so don’t get mad, because it’s all part of the process. Choir is so much more than just winning a contest.”
Despite not winning, the choir department still pulls together as a unit to continue to progress into becoming better musicians, but most importantly, better individuals with positive mindsets.
“It’s the experience that counts, not the trophy,” chamber member Kimberly Mulato said. “We do this contest so that we may grow as singers and as people. At the end of the day, we are still the same choir that walked into this festival, we are still the same family.”