FHS Select Chorale Makes Rounds and Astounds

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The high school’s Select Chorale, under the leadership of director Monique Retzlaff, continued to amaze audiences with precise performances at the Westminster Choir College Invitational and Carnegie Hall.
    
At Westminster Choir College, the group performed renditions of “Precious Lord” and “John the Revelator” to standing ovations. Senior Christopher Fludd, president of the Select Chorale and a student conductor, then led the group through a performance of his award-winning piece, “Alius est Caelum,” which last month won the choral category for the Azusa Pacific University/J.W. Pepper High School Composition contest.
    
Fludd’s prize included $1,000 cash, a recorded live performance by an Azusa Pacific University ensemble or performer and consideration for publication by J.W. Pepper. In addition to his stellar work with the Select Chorale, he is also head drum major of the marching band and founder of the student-run vocal group, Serene Harmonics. He is also a member of the Nassau Chamber Chorale of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York, and has been selected to several All-State and All-County bands and choirs.
    
For the seventh consecutive year, the Select Chorale was invited to perform at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City on Palm Sunday. They performed “Sunrise Mass” — a nearly 40-minute piece — by Ola Gjeilo, who also visited the group during their rehearsal to work with the students and offer his input.
    
“I am so proud of my students for all of the work they put into helping perfect our sounds and captivate audiences’ hearts at Westminster Choir College and Carnegie Hall,” said Retzlaff. “It’s such an amazing honor to have been invited to such prestigious venues, and it’s a testament to the dedication of our students.”