Arvada West’s elite choirs go to choral celebration

   On Friday November 8, over 30 top choral programs in the state of Colorado gathered in  the heart of Denver for a special event known as the Metro Choral Celebration. This respected festival included two of Arvada West’s top choir ensembles.

   The Metro Choral Celebration is one of the largest choral festivals in Colorado, and is held at the King Center in downtown Denver. It lasts for two days, with more than 30 choirs performing from around 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

   Arvada West’s choir, led by director Chris Maunu, has attended the festival for the past eight years. Maunu, this year, took his top women’s group called Company West and his top men’s group called Varsity Mens Chorus to perform.

   “Each ensemble performs three contrasting selections of various styles and languages for a panel of judges. Choirs are scored in 12 categories (intonation, tone quality, expression, etc.) and rated Superior, Good, or Needs Improvement in each,” says Maunu.

    Following the performance, the panel of adjudicators comes to the stage for about 15 minutes and gives suggestions on how to improve aspects of the performance. Some of these areas for improvement might be intensity, dynamic variation, and the interpretation of the given piece of music.

   “Both ensembles earned superior ratings in all categories by all four adjudicators.It is rare for any ensemble to receive scores of this caliber, so we can celebrate the success of our fine students,” Maunu says.

   According to Maunu, however, the hard work does not end here. “While it feels great to do well at a festival, all of our choirs have many things to work on and wish to reach further heights. Music performance is an art in which you always strive for perfection, but never attain it.” he says.