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Visit a Section: Mission Statement | Concert Choir | Madrigal Singers | Spectrum Singers | Premier Choir | Viking Men’s Chorus | Tours and Awards

Mission Statement

We believe in gathering the Palo Alto High School Community and its friends in the performance of great choral and vocal music. We believe that our ensembles should achieve the advanced standards of music education set by the PAUSD and the State of California. But above all, we believe that in the pursuit of great music, young people will develop lasting relationships, enduring memories, and a profound appreciation for art.

Concert Choir

Palo Alto High School has an impressive 80 year tradition of excellence in choral and vocal music. The 75-voice Concert Choir is chosen from the 2000 student campus and represents its finest singers.

The Concert Choir has made its mark by performing masterworks of the great composers, including Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, Franz Schubert’s Mass in G, Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria, Leonard Bernstein’sChichester Psalms, Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, and have commissioned works from Chanticleer’s Joseph Jennings.

Members of the choir have performed in, and been recognized for outstanding performances in the All-State and Regional Honor Choirs and various choral festivals throughout the state. Recent alumni are pursuing musical careers at Chapman, Vanderbilt, Northwestern, USC, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, University of Santa Clara, Harvard, and Westminster Choir College.

As a part of its mission the Concert Choir travels internationally every two years. We hope that by learning from other musical cultures and by sharing ours we will become better citizens of the world. The Friends of PALY Choirs has supported student travel with over $80,000 of financial aid in the last 10 years. For a list of our previous tours and future adventures please see our Tours and Awards section.

The Choir receives awards and accolades from numerous festivals and adjudicators throughout the state of California. The Choir also seeks out guidance from renowned guest artists who come to Paly from all over the US. For a list of awards please see our Tours and Awards section.

Madrigal Singers

With its inception in 1967, the Madrigal Singers have become a staple in the Palo Alto community. The 30 voice ensemble features the choral program’s best musicians. During the winter holiday season the Madrigals are in demand throughout the city for their authentic performances, strong musicianship, and fine singing.

The Madrigal Singers are regularly invited to participate in many of the state’s prestigious festivals, regularly earning superior ratings. For a list of the ensemble’s awards visit our Tours and Awards section.

Spectrum Singers

The advanced women’s chorus is an auditioned ensemble that performs the most challenging treble choir music. They have recently performed works by Maurice Durufle, Benjamin Britten, J.S. Bach, Randall Thompson, Vincent Persichetti and others. Although they spend much time working on demanding music they also find time to perform popular songs, jazz standards and world music.

For a list of the Spectrum Singers’ awards visit our Tours and Awards section.

Premier Choir

A mixed ensemble of 40 students, this choir focuses on musicianship and tone. The choir receives high marks at festivals and plays a large role at our annual Madrigal Feaste. The Choir performs a mix of classical and pop music. This choir provides great opportunity for all singers to broaden their vocal skills. Many of the Beginning Choir students belong to other choirs as well including Men’s Chorus and Spectrum Singers.

Viking Men’s Chorus

The Viking Men’s Chorus meets at lunchtime, before and after school to sing the great tradition of Men’s Glee club music and Barbershop. Membership is open to all interested young men, no experience necessary.

Tours and Awards

International Tours

Spain & France: 2004
Brazil: 2006
Mexico: 2008
Hungary, Slovakia & Austria: 2010
Italy: 2012
Spain: 2014
Mexico: 2016
Italy: 2018

Awards, Festivals, & Competitions

Napa Valley High School Invitational Festival Unanimous Superiors
Concert Choir: 2012, 2015
Madrigal Singers: 2012, 2015

CMEA Award Unanimous Superiors
Concert Choir: 2005-2009, 2013-2019
Madrigals Singers: 2005-2009, 2013-2019
Spectrum Singers: 2007, 2009, 2013-2019

Heritage Festival
Concert Choir: Sweepstakes Award (highest honor): 2007, 2009, 2015
Spectrum Singers: Gold Award (highest honor for women’s choirs): 2007, 2009, 2015

Golden State Choir Invitational
Concert Choir: 2009, 2010, 2012
Madrigal Singers: 2010, 2012
Spectrum Signers: 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015

Chanticleer National High School Choral Invitational
Concert Choir: 2010

Chanticleer Regional High School Invitational
Concert Choir: 2005, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2016

Visiting Artists and Conductors

listed alphabetically
Charlene Archibeque, Professor Emeritus, San Jose State
William Dehning, Professor Emeritus, USC Thornton School of Music
Joseph Huszti, Professor, University of California at Irvine
Buddy James, Professor, California State East Bay
David Manning, Composer in Residence
Matthew Potterton, Professor, East Tennessee State University
Stephen Sano, Professor, Stanford University
Deke Sharon, arranger/producer of the TV Show “The Sing Off”
Ruth Ann Swenson, Metropolitan Opera, Sonoma State
Kelci Hahn, SAG-AFTRA artist, Film and Television Vocal Artist