OPHS choir students selected for the California Choral Directors Association Honors Choir

Sandhya Sridhar, Vishaka Bhat become first students this year to be in the CCDA

Two Oak Park High School choir students have been selected to be a part of the California Choral Directors Association’s Honors Choir program. The CCDA is an organization that connects driven students together to further deepen their interest and experience in music. OPHS junior and CCDA Honors Choir acceptor Sandhya Sridhar has been preparing for this opportunity since the summer of 2020.

“We started preparing for auditions over the summer. It was me and a couple of other students, and we would meet every week to go over different things that we would normally be tested on during the audition such as scales, sight-reading, and tonal memory,” Sridhar wrote to the Talon.

In order to be accepted into the CCDA Honors Choir, students must submit a recorded audition.

Vishaka Bhat Headshot

“For our audition, we initially had to memorize and sing a song of our choosing and sight-read passages, but as auditions were moved online, we were just asked to submit an audio recording of a selected song. I was placed in the SATB choir, which had about 90 people of all different vocal parts,” junior and CCDAHonors Choir acceptor Vishaka Bhat wrote to the Talon.

On Feb. 26, Sridhar and Bhat submitted a final recording to the CCDA. This video will be put in a compilation with the videos of the choir students from other schools.

“The recordings that are due on February 26th are the recordings that will be used for the actual CCDA Honor Choir virtual concert. In these final recordings, I’m wearing my choir concert attire for all 3 songs that I’m singing. I’m in the SSAA (Soprano-Soprano-Alto-Alto) choir, meaning that my recordings are for the songs ‘True Colors,’ ‘Canción de Los Tsáchilas,’ and ‘We Are,’”  Sridhar wrote.

Both Bhat and Sridhar have been in choir since their freshman year and feel it had a big impact on their music experience. 

“Saying that I enjoy choir is a major understatement. Throughout high school, choir has been a breath of fresh air in my schedule and I’ve had so much fun forging new friendships and bonding over music. It’s definitely been the highlight of my high school experience and it’s been a class that has helped me realize how important music is to my life,” Sridhar wrote.

Sandhya Sridhar Headshot

Both Sridhar and Bhat feel passionate about Honors Choir and are thankful for the opportunities presented to them by their choir teacher Heidi Cissell.

“I worked with Sandhya and Vishaka all through last summer, preparing them for auditions. I enjoyed working with them all summer and through the Fall and I’m so proud of them and the work that they accomplished. They have developed into fine musicians.  I’m looking forward to hearing the final Honor Concert and listening to Sandhya and Vishaka singing with top high school choir members throughout California, representing Oak Park High School,” Cissell wrote.