California High School student Hannah Ridge loved to sing from the moment she joined the children’s church choir. It has since turned into a passionate calling that has led her to spend countless hours practicing her skills and perfecting her craft as a member of the Cal High Chamber Choir. She is now poised to share the stage with professional vocalists in one of the most elite women’s choruses in the country.
Ridge was one of three high school vocalists recently selected to participate in the Choral Scholar Program for Vox Femina, a nationally acclaimed professional women’s choir based in Los Angeles.
As a member of the student mentorship program, the junior will perform advanced choral literature, receive one-on-one mentoring and take part in “Women on the Rise,” a concert to mark the end of Vox Femina’s 20th year anniversary season in June.
“I was ecstatic when I found out that I was accepted into the program because I knew it was such an important and amazing opportunity,” said Ridge, who has been in Cal High’s Chamber Choir for three years, serves as a section leader and is Choir Vice President. “I’m honored to take part in something so prestigious.”
To join the program, Ridge had to endure a rigorous selection and audition process in which she was tested on basic music theory, vocal and tonal memory exercises, sight reading an eight-measure exercise piece and performing a solo acapella piece. Once a week, she participates in a two-hour rehearsal, which includes mentoring from Vox’s assistant conductor, and an ensemble practice session.
“The pieces we will be performing are extremely difficult, but very beautiful and complex,” said Ridge, who holds a 3.8 GPA and is involved in multiple extracurricular activities.
Since joining the school’s choir, Ridge has set herself apart in a number of ways, including being the first Cal High student selected to join the Southern California Vocal Association (SCVA) Women's High School Honor Choir, and earn a spot on the American Choral Director's Association (ACDA) Western Regional Conference High School Honor Choir. This year, she was accepted in SCVA’s Mixed High School Honor Choir.
“Hannah is musically gifted, and she approaches things in a way that is different from other students,” Cal High choir and music director Dan Hawkins said. “She is very driven and sees a piece through, but she is so humble and never boasts about how good she really is. To be selected to join a premiere choral ensemble is quite an accomplishment.”
Ridge said she hopes to continue her passion at the university level, where she can study vocal performance and music education. Her dream is to be a classical singer and perform in professional choirs.
“Hannah displays the student achievement and ambition we foster at California High. Through the incredible effort and commitment of our teachers and staff, our students can continue to thrive,” Principal Bill Schloss said. “We are so proud of Hannah’s accomplishments, and we look forward to seeing where her talent and passion takes her.”