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

Main Street Singers Tour South Pacific Countries

Dressed in sleek red dresses and crisp black and white suits, the Main Street Singers traveled around the Southern Pacific for their annual tour from April 8 to Sunday, April 29. This year, they traveled to Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.

Each year, the students get the opportunity to learn about the audience’s culture and interact with the native people. Traveling across the globe gives them a chance for exposure and a look into these people’s varying lifestyles in contrast to those of Americans.

“We had so many great moments when we sang for [the Fijians],” junior Alice Carli said. “They sang for us, and then we all got up and danced together because music and dance was our way of communicating across cultures.”

During their stay in Fiji, the students also performed a charity concert in the civic center to raise money for flood victims in the country. After their performance, they were able to talk with other students in Fiji and see the similarities between them and connect with them as more than just performers and an audience.

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“It was so great to know that our visit was having an impact,” Alice said.
While their nine formal concerts required them to be in full dress attire, their impromptu concerts did not. As they walked through the streets, they would get into their concert formation and sing for the people around them.

“All of a sudden, Mr. Shaull will tell us to get into concert formation and we usually sing up to five songs,” senior Erin Farrell said. “People who can’t take two hours out of their day to watch our formal concerts will be able to watch us in the streets and get an idea of who we are and what we do.”

In the past two years, Main Street’s annual tours were in Europe. This year, there were some differences because they toured countries in the South Pacific region instead. In Europe, they performed their concerts in many cathedrals.

This year, they performed in convention centers and churches instead of in traditional buildings.

“I think that these countries will be a more relaxed environment for us to be in,” Erin said. “But as the Main Street Singers we still have to maintain our image the whole time. It won’t necessarily be relaxed in behavior for us.”

While the feeling of their tour was different, they still maintained a level of professionalism in all that they do.

“Mr. Shaull always states that, ‘Oh you’re an American choir but we need to be professional, we want to leave a good impression for our country,’” Erin said.

The Main Street Singers were similar to ambassadors from the United States during their tour.

“It’s a real responsibility because we are traveling to countries where people have firm conceptions about Americans and high schoolers that aren’t necessarily good,” Alice said. “It’s our job not only to not feed into those stereotypes but to actually fight against them.”

But the tour is also about bonding between all the members and learning more about the people they have been singing with the entire year.

“[I love] bonding with the group members, inside jokes that spark from boredom on buses and the feedback we get during and after each of our concerts,” senior Zach Nicolet said.

The annual tour they take every year is not only an opportunity to become exposed to different cultures, but also to see how music can play a part in every corner of the world, whether it be in Europe, Australia or the U.S.

“[The tour] has opened my eyes and allowed me to realize the true worldwide connection that music creates,” Zach said. “It doesn’t matter what country people originate from … everyone and anyone can enjoy [and] appreciate music.”

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