While most freshmen enter high school choir as one of their first chances to display and hone their singing abilities, freshman Kaitlyn Lee has already been doing so—for the past four years.
Lee, a member of Diamond Bar’s Solitaire, has been a member of Southern California Vocal Association Honor Choir since sixth grade. SCVA Honor Choir, a prestigious state-wide association that selects up to 50 students yearly in their choir program after a rigorous application process, rehearses with members and puts on a show during the fall season. The choir has selected quite a few upperclassmen from Diamond Bar this year. Lee, however, is the only freshman from Diamond Bar to make it into the program this year.
“I was very motivated to sing after being a part of my middle school choir. I was trained by a really great teacher there. She was pretty strict, but she really taught us what we needed to know. I always saw her as my mentor,” Lee said.
Her singing career began in sixth grade, when she made it onto South Pointe’s intermediate choir. She attended various workshops conducted by the school’s choir teacher, and after discovering here that she enjoyed singing, she auditioned for SCVA’s middle school choir.
“I remember being so nervous about the whole thing. I was confident, but I still felt scared. I was very proud when I found out I got in because it was so selective,” Lee said.
Her audition, judged by two different judges, tested her tonal memory, as well as ability to sight read and sing the major and chromatic scales. After clearing her auditions, she began singing with the choir program. She also began taking private singing lessons by two different teachers over the course of a year on the weekends to enhance her singing abilities.
She continued with SCVA Honor Choir as a Brahma, when choir teacher and SCVA Show Choir Director Patty Breitag encouraged her to audition again.
“She has a great singing voice and she’s a great leader. She’s the leader for her section and I really appreciate her contribution to the choir program. It really helps because she has a backgroud in music,” Breitag commented.
Though she has no set plans about her singing career after college, Lee hopes to further her passion in singing by joining an acapella group after high school.
“I really enjoy choir because we’re all like a family. It definitely changed me. It helped me be more outgoing and friendly because in choir you really have to exaggerate everything,” Lee said.
In addition to being involved with singing, Lee also plays for Diamond Bar’s junior varsity basketball team, which practices six days a week. With the right time management, however, Lee manages to balance a life with pitch perfect notes and three-pointers.