JSerra International Student Arranges Song for Choir’s Farewell Concert

AndrewBy Lauren Shepherd, OC Register 

JSerra Catholic High School’s first graduating international student Seung Hyun (Andrew) Lee, from Seoul, South Korea, has been teaching his fellow chamber singers his own arrangement of a Korean folk song for choir’s Spring Farewell Concert. Four years ago, Lee and his family searched for the right school in Southern California that would give him a unique high school experience.

“When I saw that JSerra was accepting international students I took the opportunity,” Lee said. He started his freshman year of high school at JSerra with a love for music and a prodigal talent that would impress his fellow chamber singers.

“It’s really interesting to know that someone so young can be so musically inclined,” said JSerra sophomore and first-year chamber singer, Ian von Gremp. “It’s nice to know that my friend Andrew arranged it,”

Lee became president of the chamber choir, and with his leadership taught his fellow chamber singers the ancient Korean folk song, “Arirang,” which he arranged to fit his own interpretation of its meaning.

“Andrew has always been our leader,” junior and third year chamber singer, Annie Pfost said. “Choir is like a family and Andrew is like the cool big brother.”

“Arirang,” a song handed down through many generations, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, in December.

At last year’s Spring Concert, Renée Bondi, Christian inspiration singer and mother to JSerra chamber singer, Daniel Bondi, told Lee about her concert in Korea. She said when she sang “Arirang” for the finale, everyone there began to sing along with her. With that motivation, Lee decided to arrange “Arirang” for his high school choir.

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San Juan Idol: Rotary’s Song Contest Winners

L-R: Judges Roz Westra and Peter Hornby, contest winners Daniel Bondi, Annie Pfost, Madison Roush and Rotary Club president Carol Daderian. Credit Penny Arévalo
L-R: Judges Roz Westra and Peter Hornby, contest winners Daniel Bondi, Annie Pfost, Madison Roush and Rotary Club president Carol Daderian. Credit Penny Arévalo.

For the first time in school history, JSerra was invited to participate in the Rotary Vocal Competition and JSerra could not be more proud of the performers. Congratulations to JSerra senior Daniel Bondi, and junior Annie Pfost for their accomplishments at the annual competition.

Song contest winners from San Juan high schools were selected at San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club’s annual song competition on Wednesday Feb. 22 at San Juan Hills Golf Club.

From a field of 17 entrants, first place went to JSerra Catholic High School senior Daniel Bondi, singing “Me!” from Beauty & The Beast. Also from JSerra Catholic High School, second place went to junior Annie Pfost, singing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.

“Four of our own students, Victoria Moyzis, Matthew Chamberlain, Annie Pfost and Daniel Bondi went up against 14 others and we walked away with first and second place,” said Brian Dehn, JSerra Choral Director.  “Not only did we present ourselves extremely well with taking the top two spots, we also were commended for our professionalism and maturity. JSerra was well represented and the parents, fellow vocal coaches and I could not be more proud of these four talented students.

Save the Date: Choral Camp Hosted at JSerra

JSerra’s Choral department is hosting a summer choral camp open to all levels of singers including beginners.

Each day will include voice lessons, reading music lessons, and choir rehearsals where we learn songs together. It is a great opportunity to meet people, make music and have lots of fun.

Camp begins Tuesday, August 21 and goes through Friday, August 24, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.  each day with a special mini-concert following on Friday. The camp fee is $150 per person.

For more information to to register contact Choral Director, Brian  Dehn at bdehn@jserra.org.

Hit’s on the Radio Brought to You By JSerra

JSerra Catholic High School Choral Department is proud to announce our POP’s Concert  Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m. hosted at the Mariner’s Church in Newport Beach.

Come and rock out to “Hit’s on the Radio”  with our choirs performing songs by Queen, Michael Jackson, Adele, the Beatles, and more.  Tickets are on sale now.  Adults are $15 and Students are just $5.00.  The famous “LIME TRUCK” will also be onsite serving tacos and sliders for just $10 a plate.  Order your tickets today by contacting the cashier at JSerra.

You don’t want to miss this night of amazing, fun music by our talented students.

For questions contact Jennifer Fitzpatrick at irishjen38@cox.net

JSerra Choral Takes on the Big Apple

JSerra Catholic High School Advanced Women’s Ensemble performing in the Riverside Church, New York

*A message from JSerra Choral Director, Brian Dehn

The JSerra Catholic High School choirs recently travelled to New York City for their Spring Tour and competitions. The five day trip was highlighted with a competition at Riverside Church where the choirs tied for first place and took home the Adjudicators Trophy.

The choirs were honored to meet Cardinal-Designate Timothy Dolan during Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We were thrilled when he asked us to sing for his community after Communion.

The choir performed a beautiful rendition of the Gregorian chant and seventeenth century motet, Ave Maria. The main highlight for the event however, was our solo performance on the stage of the world-famous Carnegie Hall.

JSerra Chamber Choir had the spotlight opening performance and then participated, along with the JSerra Advanced Women’s Ensemble, in the National Youth Choir Ensemble consisting of nearly 1,000 students.

Other memorable moments were singing the National Anthem at the World Trade Center Museum site, taking in a Broadway Show and getting a private photo done right in Times Square, and our own “choral flash mob” at Grand Central Station. For 53 students and another 40 of our family and friends, JSerra was well represented in one of the greatest cities on earth.


Carnegie Hall Concert Preview at Soka University

JSerra Fine Arts  invites you to a special preview of the repertoire to be performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall this Spring by the JSerra Choral department.

SOKA Universty

Performing Arts Center

Thursday, March 8,  7:30 p.m.

Admission and parking are free.