The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

LAHS choir sings their way through a European summer

Courtesy Lauren Diez
Los Altos High School choir does some sightseeing at Plaza de España in Seville, Spain; from left to right: seniors Manonmani Raffill and Abby Chai, junior Vincent Arredondo, Kassandra Bowman, ’23, senior Ryan Tock, junior Alexandra Whann, senior Chengzhi Wang, juniors Trisha Bhattacharyya and Mei Ozawa, senior Sofie Miao, junior Caesar Coca, Eva Martinez, ’23, junior Isa Baratoff, Milo Bogdanic, ’23 and seniors Maddy Randall and Mal Weisfeld.

Los Altos High School choir students took their talents international this summer on a visit to Europe. For a week in June, students immersed themselves in the cultures of Spain and Portugal while taking the opportunity to sing at various venues — including joint concerts with other American choirs of all ages.

“It’s special to make music for an international audience,” Choir Director Lauren Diez said. “It’s about once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and making memories that will stick with us forever.”

“It was fun to just be with friends and not be under parental supervision at all times,” senior Sofie Miao said.

That’s not to say the trip was free reign; the schedule was structured rigorously, including plenty of educational tours and informal concerts, leaving limited time to rest.

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“Being on a tight schedule, we had to adapt to singing when we got less sleep or were exhausted from walking around all day,” junior Isa Baratoff said. “But it wasn’t too hard to stay motivated because we all love choir.”

The unexpected occurred when five students contracted COVID-19 and had to give up several outings and the final performance to their days in quarantine.

“We performed in a theater that was cramped with a lot of people — I think that’s where the coronavirus spread,” junior Caesar Coca said.

In hindsight, some students see this bump in the road as less than surprising.

“European COVID-19 restrictions are very loose,” Sofie said. “It’s treated like a common cold. I thought our school was a bit unprepared in terms of protocol too.”

But the silver lining for students was in their friendships, which grew even closer during quarantine.

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Sophie Kim, Staff Writer

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