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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Voices sing, Speech  Gabs Gabs, Gabs

By Emme Tran | Copy Editor

   On Oct. 14, the Gabrielino High School choir department held their first concert of the year at the Hilton Hotel on Valley Boulevard, while on Oct. 16, the Screamin’ Eagles speech team held their annual Gab, Gab, Gab Invitational on campus. 

   The Gabrielino Voices Concert was held on the second floor of the hotel’s underground parking garage at 7 p.m.

   “We’ve been in the process of trying to find a place to perform this year [where] we could be inside and covered and follow the CDC guidelines,” stated Choir Director David Pitts in a speech before the concert. “We have a good relationship with the Hilton Hotel […] so this is a little experiment.” 

   The ensemble, women’s choir, concert choir, and chamber choir combined to perform eight songs by artists such as Calum Scott, Jackie DeShannon, and Louis Armstrong, and music from the Pixar short film, “Lava,” under the theme ‘Love.’

   Freshman Ivy Stroman stated, “I think [the theme] was chosen because of the circumstances we’re in and [the songs are] not just about romantic love, it’s about the whole world coming [together after a pandemic].”

   The setlist included solo performances by seniors Patricia Atmoko, Kaiya Suehiro, Minh Thai Le, junior Elizabeth Sjafri, and sophomore Sherelene Guo, as well as a duo performance by seniors Paige Dance and Maya Pourreza. The concert also featured guest professional singer Sheila James, who performed during the songs, “Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent” and, “All You Need is Love,” by The Beatles. 

   The chamber choir sang “How Can I Keep From Singing,” by Robert Lowry without instrumental accompaniment. 

   “Our setlist got shortened by a lot,” said Guo, a member of the chamber choir. “Normally, our concerts run for about two hours or so with a brief intermission in between. This year, we’re only having one full session. Because our numbers have declined, we don’t have enough people, or enough experienced people, to sing parts.” 

    Senior Emma Sieh also performed as the accompanist for combined choir songs and several solo performances. Additionally, guest musicians Justin Gonzalez, playing the bass, and Madi Payne, playing the cajon and bongos, were also invited to play. 

   Performers were socially distanced and masks were not required due to the location, but audience members were encouraged to wear masks by the choir department. 

  The next choir concert will be the annual Holiday Concert on Dec. 8, which will be held under the lunch pergola on campus.

Courtesy of Alex Lai
Bren Belmonte | Tongva Times

GAB AND SING Senior Lauren Chu (left) performs her Original Prose and Poetry piece during the Gab, Gab, Gab Invitational on Oct. 16. Paige Dance [right] sings “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes with senior Maya Pourreza (not shown) during the Voices concert at the Hilton Hotel on Oct. 14.

  Students from high schools such as Arcadia, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Fullerton Union, La Costa Canyon, Middle College, San Marino, and Santa Ana also performed last week at the Gab, Gab, Gab invitational. 

   “Our team has actually been preparing for Gab, Gab, Gab since late spring of the last school year,” stated senior Megan Chan. “Unless you were competing at state or nationals, we all began preparing for our next year’s speech so that we’d be ready to go when school started in the fall.”

   This year’s Gab, Gab, Gab tournament took a hybrid approach for competing. 

   “The first three rounds of the tournament [were] completely online,” explained Chan. “[We] all submitted our own recording of our speeches and as far as judging goes, for the first three rounds, the competitors [judged] the rounds.”

   The final round took place live on campus with four rounds located in the Goodson Theatre and another four rounds located in the large gym. 

   Earlier this month, the Screamin’ Eagles competed at the Damien High School Invitational on Oct. 3. Speech also held the Gabrielino Icebreaker Tournament on Sep. 11, which was their first in-person competition after 18 months.

   “[The Icebreaker] wasn’t a typical tournament in the sense that we weren’t performing our actual speeches, and instead were just performing character debates and interviews for fun,” stated Chan.

   According to freshman Alexis Do, the Icebreaker tournament also did not require students to wear suits due to the team-bonding focus of the competition.

   The next competition will be the Fall Novice tournament on Nov. 6.

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Voices sing, Speech  Gabs Gabs, Gabs