Bring the performance home

VMD hosts a showcase for the BVH community

On April 19 and 20, the Bonita Vista High (BVH) Vocal Music Department (VMD) held an evening showcase at the Bolles theater. The showcase featured a night of performances from Music Machine and Sound Unlimited.

“Our whole entire second semester is essentially us preparing for our festival sets. We compete almost every weekend starting in March until the end of April. We do the showcase to encourage new people to join the group,” Music Machine dance captain and senior Estella Krivoshia said.

Krivoshia mentions how important of an opportunity this showcase is to really show BVH students what the VMD is all about. VMD hopes this showcase will inspire other students to join the following year while simultaneously giving Music Machine and Sound Unlimited members a platform to truly shine.

“It’s really important that people see what they’re getting themselves into and feel inspired [to join]. Being able to have [the showcase] for two nights gives more opportunity for people to go,” Krivoshia said. “It’s also a good opportunity for not only the groups but the seniors as well to get their last performances in with a solo act.”

Music Machine and Sound Unlimited are very versatile when it comes to their type of performers. During the performances, they make sure to include a range of different voices. Section leader Krivoshia explains the range of performers and what she does to help make performances cohesive.

“There’s all these different voice parts in the machine; there are alto sopranos, tenors and basses. Basically, I control my own group. We go over notes and like to have our own little meetings,” Krivoshia said.

VMD chose to have two days of performances so that more people would get a chance to see them. Because the showcase is held at BVH, it gives parents and friends of VMD members a chance to attend if they have never been able to see one of the VMD’s off campus performances. Junior and Music Machine member Evangeline Deguzman explains what the showcase means for the community.

“The showcase is meant to be an end of the year performance and do a little recap on our festival season, which is to show what we’ve been working on the whole entire year. It’s also primarily a fun thing to do,” Deguzman said. “It’s very welcoming for the whole community and for family members to watch.”

Deguzman is in Music Machine–the Co-Ed choir. Music Machine goes hand in hand with Sound Unlimited, both being advanced choir’s that require an audition. She explains the difference between the two as well as what performance she was a part of in the showcase.

“There’s a beginning choir, which requires no audition. Then there are the advanced ones: the all girls group [Sound Unlimited] and the Co-Ed one, Music Machine,” Deguzman said. “I was part of, ‘I wouldn’t say I’m in love’ and I was also in another solo act with ‘Feeling Food’. Then just the Music Machine performed the 2023 competition set.”

The competition set consisted of six consecutive songs. It started with “Speakeasy” in which the Music Machine was clad in 1920’s speakeasy fashion; fringe, beading, gemstones and feathers all making an appearance. That was followed by other fitting songs such as “Juice/Roaring 20s”, “Dust in the Wind” and more. Vocal music director Michael Atwood explains why they repeat their competition sets.

“The showcase is a fun chance for students to do some acts in a more homey atmosphere in the theater. One thing that was brought to my attention after the show was that it was a chance for them to do their competition show for an audience but not in a competitive way,” Atwood said. “I think in competition there’s a lot of nerves. Everyone’s just really focused at the moment, which is good for competition. However, sometimes it’s nice just to relax and enjoy the music and enjoy all the hard work.”

Something unique about these showcases is the solos that VMD members get to audition for and then perform. This gives Music Machine and Sound Unlimited students a chance to perform solos that have not been a part of their competition sets for their families.

“I think the solo acts required a little more preparation because we’ve been working the whole year on the festival set. So learning these solo acts needed a little more preparation,” Deguzman said.

Krivoshia took part in multiple performances. She performed “Dancing Queen” with junior Tonantzin Murillo and senior Ariana Ramirez and she took part in the competition set. Krivoshia felt their first day of performing went well and felt optimistic about the following day, reveling in how much her and her group have improved collectively.

“I feel like as long as I leave the stage being proud of what I did, I’m always happy at the end of the show. That’s how I felt the whole semester and that’s all I really hoped for. It’s definitely a really good way to end my senior year and I’m proud of my whole group. Being the captain, I get to see them improve every day and that’s probably one of the best things I’ve gotten to do this year,” Krivoshia said.

Overall the VMD members were very proud of both their own performances and the turnout of the showcase. Krivoshia, Deguzman and Atwood all share a similar sense of pride when it comes to the overall outcome of the showcase.

“I feel like it was a success. I’m really proud of the turnout because I wasn’t really anticipating that many people showing up. My whole family actually showed up. My grandparents from both sides came and it was so nice to see them in the audience,” Deguzman said.

During the performances there had been a few minor microphone complications. Atwood stresses how unimportant these small mess ups are in the long run and that things like that happen in “show business.” When he witnesses what they’ve worked for come to life he always sees that as a success.

“They do what they do well. Of course there’s a couple minor hiccups with a couple of microphone and sound incidents but I think we’re all our own worst critics. That’s show business and things happen. We have rehearsal, we prepare for these things and anytime we get on a stage to do our thing and do well, it’s a success to me,” Atwood said.

At the end of the night, VMD members hope to have inspired others to take a look into the program. There were a variety of songs performed by a variety of members, everyone getting their chance to be in the spotlight and prove how hard they’ve worked this 2022-2023 season.

“My show choir students were in the theater today talking about how many things we’ve done this year; from competitions happening in Florida, to elementary school shows, to our Halloween performance and all of our holiday performances,” Atwood said. “I look back very fondly on my time [being the advisor of VMD] and its performances like these—performing for your friends or performing for other people at the school—that are something special.”