By Theresa Nguyen

The Mirror Staff

By Jenisa Chuayjarernsook

The Mirror Staff

“The highlight of the show was the emotional contrast of the really sad moments and the really upbeat moments. The music fit quite well with the choral group and the emotion was the biggest part to keep in mind,” said Aiden Cini, an alto-saxophonist.

ENTERTAINMENT

Looking back into the life of Japanese Americans during WWII

February 23, 2017

ENTERTAINMENT: In America, written and performed by Van Nuys High students, was orchestrated with the help of the L.A. Master Chorale.


Orchestrated by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, In America, a 45-minute oratorio that depicts the experiences of people held in Japanese-American Incarceration Camps during World War II, was performed at Van Nuys High School on Thursday, Feb. 16 and Saturday, Feb.18.

The VNHS Vocal Ensemble and Women’s Ensemble worked alongside the L.A. Master Chorale Chamber Singers to research and compose a piece about the internment camps.

During World War II, Japan was fighting with Germany and Italy against the Allies—France, Britain, China, Australia, United States, India, New Zealand, Canada, and Soviet Union. In the United States, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an Executive Order in 1942, that sent Japanese-Americans to internment camps because they were thought to be a security risk.

Many Japanese-Americans were forced to abandon or sell their homes, leaving everything behind to settle in camps throughout the West. The camps were heavily guarded by soldiers and surrounded with barbed wire.

Conditions at the camps were rough—people lived in converted horse stables or barracks. Families were crammed together with little space. They were given food rations and had access to only temporary medical care infirmaries.

Soloists from the Vocal Department, May Nguyen, Olivia Rodriguez, Lucy White, Laiyah Serpas, Morgan Hesen, Isaiah Yiga, Jamaia Concepcion, Rafael Gomez, Bianca Akbiyik, Aerein Gundayao, Sat Gasparyan, Antonio Lewis, Nel Nario and Ian Foster,interpreted the harsh conditions that the Japanese-Americans faced.

“The highlight of the show was the emotional contrast of the really sad moments and the really upbeat moments,” said Aiden Cini, an alto-saxophonist. “The music fit quite well with the choral group and the emotion was the biggest part to keep in mind.”

The students gained experience in composing music as well as conveying the subject to the audience about this historical event.