By April 18, 2018

BCHS Choirs Score Big in California Competition

bchs choirs

The BCHS choirs in Burbank. Photos by Lara Gates.

By Lara Gates — Boulder Creek High School Choir Department brought home major honors at the Burroughs Music Showcase in Burbank, California on Saturday, April 14. One hundred seventeen students in five choirs traveled to the competition to go up against schools from across California in multiple categories. BCHS came close to sweeping the competition in the concert choir division taking three of the top four spots and earning a special acknowledgement for “best vocal sound” for the men of the Bel Canto Honor Choir.

The Bel Canto Choir with director Kirk Douglas and Nancie Tobison.

It’s the first time BCHS Jag Choirs have engaged in this level of competition.

BCHS’ “Broadway Bound Choir” competed against nine other schools in the Intermediate Show Choir Division, bringing home a third place win. Not an easy feat considering the BCHS team has no prior competition experience and the California choirs come from well-established programs.

“This being our first show choir competition, we used this as a learning experience. Our impact was much more than we anticipated, the feedback from the other choirs and the judges was extremely supportive,” said Choir Director Kirk Douglas. “At that moment in time it didn’t matter what place we achieved we already knew we had inspired others by our performance. Winning third in our competition was the greatest feeling, knowing we had achieved a rating we thought impossible and has motivated us to reach to the top. The constructive criticism was what we needed to hear for us to reach our potential,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the kids in all five choirs.”

The 18-minute set is a combination of five songs that were custom arranged for this choir. In a risky move for a previously unranked choir, Douglas’ vision was to tell a story with the performance.

Anthem neighbors may remember the story of Katie Wagner, who was in the choir program back in 2011 when she was diagnosed with cancer. The Broadway Bound set is loosely based on Katie, ending with a tear-jerking version of “Beauty Will Rise.” (We dare anybody who knew Katie or her story not to cry watching sophomore Ava Siegel bring her to life with an awe inspiring solo.)

Senior Taylor Manion, who also has a solo in the set, said that knowing Katie’s story helped the teens connect to the message.

“Watching the video last night and again this morning I was so impressed with how hard we worked. If you saw this set in the fall, it’s a completely different choir now because of the 100% dedication of the kids,” Manion said. “The big difference between us and the other choirs is the passion of Mr. Douglas. He pushes every one of the soloists to bring out our best.”

If you have never seen this type of performance, think Glee, meets showtunes review, meets rock concert (complete with screaming teens in the audience). Click here to watch – BCHS is 9 hours and seven minutes into the clip

Boulder Creek Choir Honors

Concert Choir Competition
Second Place: Bel Canto Honor Choir
Third Place: Bella Voce Women’s Choir
Fourth Place: Madrigal Singers

Intermediate Show Choir Competition
Third Place: Broadway Bound

Best Performer in the Broadway Bound Choir
Sophomore Erin Burgard

Best Performer in the Heart and Soul Choir
Senior Abby Davis

Upcoming Concert

You can catch all 7 Boulder Creek choirs at the Spring Pops Concert May 14-16 at Boulder Creek. Tickets will be available soon at

This article first published on North Phoenix News.


Posted in: News, Schools
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