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Chamber Bravura at Carnegie Hall

Members of Chamber Bravura pose outside Carnegie Hall during a recent trip to New York for a performance inside the legendary concert hall. (photo by Pam Werner)

Chamber Bravura at Carnegie Hall

Local a cappella group Chamber Bravura recently took its show on the road all the way to Carnegie Hall.

Chamber Bravura, an unaccompanied choir group with many young vocalists from Scripps Ranch, was selected to perform at Distinguished Concerts International New York’s “Total Vocal” concert featuring ensemble performances at Carnegie Hall on March 24. Twenty-three groups were asked to perform after auditioning.

Chamber Bravura brought 20 of its members to perform the hit “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the Disney movie “Mulan.”

Katherine Girvin, director of Chamber Bravura, said the group has been selected to perform at the event all three times it auditioned, and it is a performance the group looks forward to every year.

Part of the process for the choir is to rehearse for three days prior to the concert with renowned a cappella director Deke Sharon. Sharon most notably served as the vocal producer, on-site music director and arranger for all three “Pitch Perfect” movies. Girvin said it was an honor for the group members to be able to work with Sharon and to experience top level a cappella performances.

Members of Chamber Bravura sing “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the Disney movie “Mulan” at Carnegie Hall. (photo courtesy of Katherine Girvin)

“Something new this year was all the kids had wireless handheld mics on stage for the featured numbers. This was something new and exciting for them because that’s what top a cappella is turning into: the groups do choreography, everyone holds a mic and it’s kind of like a rock concert on stage,” Girvin said.

With the selection of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You,” the group stood out by featuring male vocalists. Philip Sargent, Scripps Ranch High School sophomore and Chamber Bravura member for more than a year, was selected to be one of the featured vocalists in the performance. Sargent said that while the performance was exciting, the best part of the experience for him was outside of the concert.

“We may have all been there to sing, but the moments I got to spend with my friends –whether at rehearsal, walking around the city or just talking in our hotel room – they were what made the trip worth it all,” Sargent said.

While in New York, Girvin also secured a private tour and vocal clinic with New York University’s Music Department director. Olivia Kuykendall, Chamber Bravura member for six years, was waiting to hear from NYU on her acceptance during the visit.

“To perform in front of the director of the NYU music program was one of the best and most humbling experiences I have ever had with this group. The feedback that I got from the director was incredibly insightful. I learned so much in the short hour we worked together,” Kuykendall said.

Kuykendall was pleased to discover two days later that she had been accepted to NYU for the fall of 2019.

Chamber Bravura will be looking to replace five members who are graduating seniors this year. For more information or to watch the group’s Carnegie Hall performance, visit chamberbravura.org.

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