Royal Palm Beach High School’s chorus is a triumphant success story in the making. David Sommer, the director of the group, pushes his students to obtain skills not only relative to their vocal talents and performances, but also skills that they can use throughout their lives.
They began their journey at the Palm Beach County District 14 Solo and Ensemble Festival. They were the talk of the town after their performance of two jazz selections, Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” and a medley of songs from Manhattan Transfer called “Manhattan Transfer Swings.” 10 soloists were also adjudicated based on singing classical solos in English, French, Spanish and German.
All the soloists obtained excellent and superior ratings, and the chorus received straight superior ratings and a standing ovation. The ratings earned the chorus a spot to perform in Washington, D.C. at the D.C. Choral Festival.
Widline Sainvil, president of the program, was shocked they made it to DC. “It’s very surreal. I couldn’t believe we made it,” she said.
Vice President Denisha Colin agreed.
“I have been to D.C. before, but it was a different atmosphere this time,” she said. “It was really fun and a great bonding experience for all of us.”
The performance in Washington, D.C. was a successful one, bringing home two plaques and three trophies, one of them being first place in the nation, as well as Best in Jazz, the Adjudicators Award and the Sweepstakes Award.
The chorus was asked to perform in the Hall of Remembrance at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for a few survivors.
The chorus was also asked to sing the national anthem at Arlington National Cemetery.
Sommer has worked incredibly hard with the students and said that hard work pays off.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our kids to represent Royal Palm Beach, Palm Beach County and the State of Florida,” Sommer said.
So what’s the next plan for the Royal Palm High School’s chorus? The road to Carnegie Hall.