Written by Alliance for Girls member, San Francisco Girls Chorus. Originally published in their September 10, 2021 newsletter.

As we welcome our new premiere ensemble we would like to wish our 2021 Premiere Ensemble Laureates well as they begin their next journey.

These young singers have studied with SFGC for many years, some over a decade, crafting their musical abilities and building lifelong friendships. It was wonderful to honor each of them in person at an outdoor ceremony in the Presidio earlier this summer. Read on for thoughts from some of the Laureates. We thank them for their hard work and dedication to their practice, and we wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

Elle Bamberger

Next Step: Hills Road Sixth Form College

ElleE BambergerThis fall, I will be going to Hills Road Sixth Form College for Chemistry, Biology, and Math. I am very excited but sad to be leaving the chorus and all the wonderful people I met there. The chorus became a second home where I learned patience and determination, teamwork, and leadership.

 

 

 

Kelsey Greenberg

Next Step: University of California, Los Angeles

Kelsey GreenbergI began in Prep Chorus when I was five years old. Back then, chorus was simply a fun weekend activity. I loved running around the rainbow carpet in the Level II room while belting out of tune versions of The Water is Wide. However, when it came time for me to transfer into the chorus school, I decided to quit because the idea of joining a more serious program was too intimidating. When I rejoined the chorus at 10 years old, everything changed. Music evolved into a passion and chorus became family. Between the life-long friends, phenomenal mentors, and our shared love for music, chorus provides a safe haven for young girls learning to embrace their power and find themselves. This organization will always hold a place in my heart, and I will always credit it with shaping me into the young woman I am today.

 

Sadie Habas

Next Step: Boston University

Sadie HabasBeing in the Premier Ensemble and the Soloist Intensive program inspired me to want to pursue music in college. I was able to work with some of the most renowned artists around the Bay Area and world at large and I received rigorous choral and soloist training, and through this I realized that I could see myself singing professionally. I feel extremely excited for my future at Boston University where I will continue to grow as a singer and a young woman and hopefully make singing my job one day.

 

 

Gabrielle Haddick

Next Step: San Francisco State University

Gabrielle HaddickI have been in the chorus for 10 years and every second of it has been filled with amazing experiences. Chorus has given me my best friends, many learning opportunities, and an appreciation for the arts. Singing has brought so much joy and happiness into my life. I’m extremely grateful to be a part of this community.

 

 

 

Bibiane Huang

Next Step: University of California Berkeley

Bibiane HuangI’ve been in the San Francisco Girls Chorus for 7 years. This program has given me the opportunity of a lifetime. As I reflect on what I have done all my years in chorus, I’ve seen so much growth within myself, confidence, and a sense of direction. The community, friendships, and opportunities I’ve had in the San Francisco Girls Chorus are nothing like what other choruses offer. Chorus has not only given me a great musical education but has also given me my best friends and my personality. I can be who I want to be without the fear of being judged. The discipline in learning music quickly, commitment to go to rehearsal every Tuesday and Friday and occasional Saturdays, and stamina to simultaneously endure finals, school, life, chorus, and other extracurriculars really goes to show how much all members of the chorus are beyond amazing. We are powerful… this is what the chorus has shown us. I am thankful to have been part of this incredible organization.

Calla Kra-Caskey

Next Step: Haveford College

Calla Kra-CaskeyI recently laureated after being a member of the San Francisco Girls Chorus for twelve years. I was an Alto Two in the Premier Ensemble, as well as a section leader and a member of the Soloist Intensive. I also graduated from Piedmont High School, and this fall I will be attending Haverford College right outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although I am not yet sure what I want to study, I am looking forward to getting a degree in the humanities. I also want to participate in Haverford’s music program, both through classes and student-run groups. SFGC has influenced me to further pursue music in college. I look forward to college but I’m going to miss the chorus so much!

 

Valentina Kornach

Next Step: Saint Mary’s College of California

Valentina KornachI have been in the chorus for 8 years, and this fall I will be attending Saint Mary’s College of California on a full-ride scholarship to study Biochemistry. The San Francisco Girls Chorus holds a special place in my heart: not only was it a place where I can get away from the negativity of my day and focus on beautiful music, but it was also a place where I was surrounded by personnel who pushed me to be the best version of myself, and friends who have supported me in all life endeavors and have become my family. I am forever grateful for the SFGC.

 

 

Annika Pyo

Next Step: Boston University

Annika PyoI will be in the College of Fine Arts at Boston University pursuing a BFA in Visual Arts. SFGC has given me a place to explore my artistic identity and build community with other artists. Working with my peers, the faculty at SFGC, and professional musicians, I have learned how to approach making art from a personal standpoint in a way that feels natural and genuine. I am excited to continue pursuing art in the near future and I know my time in the chorus will always be an influential part of it.

 

 

Stella Vale

Next Step: University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

Stella ValeThe chorus has been one of the biggest parts of my life for the last 10 years. I have grown up and learned so many skills and life lessons but have also made amazing friends. This fall, I will be attending the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, majoring in Kinesiology for pre-med. I will also be taking a minor in music!

 

 

 

Sophia Zuzga

Next Step: University of California, Santa Cruz

Sophia ZuzgaI was in SFGC for 11.5 years and Premier Ensemble for 3 years. I went on two tours while in chorus and I was in Soloist Intensive. I just graduated from Lowell High School in SF and I will be attending UC Santa Cruz this fall to study biology. Of course, I will still continue to sing despite my focus in science. I won’t be too far away, so I’ll be sure to visit often and I can guarantee I’ll be back as a camp counselor. I can certainly say I wouldn’t be who I am today without SFGC and joining was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Thank you so much to everyone who helped me along the way!