Los Alamitos High School Show Choir performs with Barry Manilow and LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl

For many performers, just one of these three things would be a lifelong dream: perform at an iconic venue, sing with a legendary singer-songwriter, or be accompanied by world-renown philharmonic. For some of the members of Los Alamitos High School (LAHS) Show Choir, students had an opportunity to do all three in one weekend. On Sept. 6 and 7, students were invited on stage with Barry Manilow and the Los Angeles Philharmonic for three songs at the Hollywood Bowl. Approximately 60 students who are members of Sound FX, the Advanced Mixed Choir, and several members of Soundtrax, the Advanced Women’s Choir, performed at the sold-out event. This might be a treasured memory for these dedicated and talented young artists.

In the weeks before the event, the students under the direction of Vice-Principal and Director David Moellenkamp and Associate Director Moana Dherlin, rehearsed the songs. At the Hollywood Bowl, they learned the choreography and music from Manilow’s back-up singer, Kye Brackett. They had a chance to go backstage at the Bowl and talk with some of the members of the LA Philharmonic. The 76- year-old Grammy Award winning performer was on the charts long before these students were even born, but even these young singers knew his hit songs and delighted the audience by joyfully performing on stage with him. Billboard.com’s Paul Grein wrote, “the kids..were beaming.“ They accompanied Manilow when he sang “I Write the Songs” and “It’s a Miracle” as well as his Grammy-winning hit “Copacabana”.

The performers enjoyed the entire event. Riley Dunklin, a senior and 2-year member of Sound FX, said of the experience “It was surreal to look out at a huge sea of people” at the Hollywood Bowl. Another senior Sound FX member, Hayley Smitson, agreed with Dunklin and added in, “It was unbelievable to perform with such an icon and see how it feels to perform in front of thousands of people”. Tatiana Bertrand, also a senior in Sound FX, said the entire event was “unexpectedly fun and I want to go and perform there again!

This isn’t the first time LAHS Show Choir has been seen with top performers. They’ve previously performed with Manilow, and been on stage with Kristin Bell, Nick Jonas, John Stamos, Journey, Foreigner, Patti Lupon and Kristin Chenoweth. In their spare time, the students prepare for four different shows throughout the year at the high school, participate in local and national competitions, and host a competition at the high school. All of the choirs have received many awards over the years, too many to mention, and Sound FX is proud to be nine-time national champions.

Catch all seven choirs at their next local performance. Their upcoming show, “Your Song” featuring Broadway music, will be held at the Los Alamitos High School Performing Arts Center on Sept. 26, 27, and 28. Tickets are available for purchase online now at LosAlamitosShowChoir.com.

Los Alamitos High School Show Choir is comprised of seven choirs: SoundFX, Soundtrax, Xpressions, Connexion, Xtreme, Xquisite, and Axcent as well as a Vocal Production group. Director and Vice-Principal David Moellenkamp and Associate Director Moana Dherlin work daily with the students during class and at rehearsals. Additionally, Eddy Clement, Assistant Music Director and Accompanist and Cara Jennings, Production Manager and Choreographer, collaborate with a team of talented individuals as well as a large number of parent volunteers. This creative group works together helping the students reach excellence in a program designed to celebrate diversity of talent, creativity and musicianship.

This article was a courtesy release.