VMD returns to the spotlight

VMD places second in first competition of the year


Provided by Isabel Caballero

Soloist and sophomore Stella Capetanakis (center) performs Sound Unlimited’s rendition of “Cell Block Tango” from the 1975 musical “Chicago”

Isaac Lozano, Arts & Culture Editor

They had it coming! They had it coming! They only had themselves to blame!”

A loud vibrato emerged from the voices of Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) Sound Unlimited as they performed their rendition of “Cell Block Tango” from the 1975 musical “Chicago.” The students’ white-sleeved shirts twirled and swaggered with the beat, embodying the set’s theme of “Detention,” behind a shower of lights. 

On March 7, Vocal Music Department’s Sound Unlimited and Music Machine performed in their first competition of the year at the annual Burbank Blast Invitational at Burbank High (BH), Los Angeles and finished as second place overall winners.

“[It was] really exciting for us because we have a lot of new members this year. We kept up really good energy and a really positive attitude throughout the whole day,” Music Machine Soprano Section member and senior Mikaela Carlton said. 

The all-girls Sound Unlimited and co-ed Music Machine show choirs were accompanied at BH by VMD director Michael Klein and 10 parents. 

“I think a lot of girls were excited to compete. I feel like [they] wanted to go because that’s what show choir is about—competing with these sets and themes that we have created throughout the year,” Sound Unlimited Alto Section member and junior Isabel Caballero said.

Music Machine’s theme came from the set of Disney’s animated musical film “The Sword in the Stone.” The 30-minute performance was judged based on a ‘music’ section, which included overall visuals and choreography, and a ‘show’ section, which included musicality and vocals. Music Machine was honored Best in Show and won second overall in the Tier 2 Advanced Mixed Division out of nine other high schools.

“We didn’t beat ourselves up if we messed up. Everybody did a good job of being excited and having fun, which is what competitions are about. As long as we’re putting [on] our best show, we’re successful in my eyes,” Carlton said.

Sound Unlimited’s theme of “Detention” revolved around a spirit of disobedience and was a product of the VMD’s “creative team,” in which members brainstormed ideas over the 2019 summer for their sets and apparel. 

Much like their Music Machine counterparts, Sound Unlimited’s 25-minute performance placed second out of five high schools within the Women’s Intermediate Division and was also honored Best in Show. Sound Unlimited President, Alto Section leader, and junior Ashley Hunter believes their excellent timing contributed to Sound Unlimited’s “impressive” show.

“It was really emotional to know that our communication improved enough to not go over time, especially since this is one of the longest sets Sound [Unlimited] has done in years,” Hunter said.

Caballero notes that though there were some setbacks due to tuning issues and organizational problems on stage, their success also reveals their dedication to their art.

“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication in order to pull that off, especially with [the] things that went wrong within our performance. We put in a lot of work in order to have good outcomes,” Caballero said.

As the lights quivered at the end of their performance, Sound Unlimited’s performers waved and locked their arms in a circular illusion, ending with a defiant stomp—their backs against one another. Their faces dimmed in the darkness and were followed by the audience’s cheers.

“I am so proud of my girls, especially the ones I call my cubs—they look up to me and call me ‘Mama Bear.’ I think this win just proves to the [BVH] community that our show choirs are serious,” Hunter said.