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A Women’s Odyssey

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The Women’s Odyssey

CHOIR: The VNHS Choir program performed an emotional spectacle of women’s history.

By Lucas Shim
February 22, 2018

Their voices have been heard.

The Van Nuys High School Choir program premiered the exclusive “Hear Our Voice: A Woman’s Journey” performance for the Los Angeles Master Chorale Project in the Hubbard auditorium on Feb. 16 and 17.

The one-hour performance displayed the historical events and emotional stories of the women’s universal hardships for equal rights throughout the 20th century. The story revolves around poet Sara Bard Field, who goes on a cross-country road trip to deliver a petition with 500,000 signatures for women’s suffrage to President Woodrow Wilson in 1915. More importantly, however, she travels through time to encounter other significant women activists.

Before the students performed, audiences were shown a video that revealed behind-the-scenes footage of rehearsals as well as discussions regarding the show’s significance to women.

The video was followed by a crowd of male and female singers on stage, ready with their handbooks and their voices.

While many dressed in black clothing, the few students who dressed in white attire played significant key figures in women’s history, including Sara Bard Field, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Malala Yousafzai and many more.

The students who played those special roles carried out solo performances for the audiences in between the recitals of the rest of the ensemble.

The singers were accompanied by the VNHS Band and Orchestra, consisting of musicians with violins, drums, guitars and flutes, presenting the audiences with background music.

The show not only delivered the woman’s perspective but also the viewpoint of the man. As the female singers demanded their rights, the male singers expressed their dissent and refusal towards the ladies. This portrayed the clear idea of the social identities of both men and women of the early 1900s to the audience.

Students of the Choir program constructed the songs and lyrics with the aid of Choir teacher Ms. Brianne Arevalo and Master Chorale artists Alice Murray, Doug Cooney and David O.

“The oratorio was about the struggles women have faced on our journey to equality. For the rights to vote, equal pay, education and equal treatment, women throughout history have been on a long journey.”

– Performer Genevieve Rochblatt

Towards the end of the show, all of the soloists and the rest of the ensemble performed together for one final piece, concluding the show with an inspiring, elegant message for the students of VNHS.

Lucas Shim is currently the Entertainment Editor for The Mirror. He joined during his sophomore year and is now in his second-year publication as a junior.

Other than contributing to journalism, his hobbies include binge-watching movies and TV shows, brainstorming story ideas and writing screenplays for his future career as a screenwriter. He is also a volunteer at Pet Orphans of Southern California, where he socializes and walks dogs. When it comes to politics, Lucas chooses to remain open-minded regarding political parties and their ongoing governmental debates.

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A Women’s Odyssey