Alumni Spotlight

class of 2013

Cantabile's Class of 2012


Ayushi Agrawal, Monte Vista High School

"While I haven't been a member of Cantabile for very long, it has grown to be a huge part of my life. From learning music to making new friends, Cantabile has taught me so much. From flash mobs to Camp Jones Gulch, Cantabile has helped me create some of my favorite memories. I have enjoyed my time here very much, and will miss it so much when I go to college. Thanks, Cantabile, for all you have done for me!"


Mattie Keith, Castilleja School

Cantabile has been one of the best parts of the last eight years. I've loved Monday nights spent singing with my friends. From sacred Russian music to monkey chants, Cantabile has taught me to appreciate a wide variety of music. Through the years I have learned performance and musicianship skills which will serve me well as I continue my study of music in college. I have made such great friends through Cantabile; our love of music has bonded us together. I am going to miss everyone so much next year!”

Danielle Man

Danielle Man, Pinewood High School

It was 2:00 AM and the sun was shining brightly on the 2009 Baltics Tour when I was rudely awakened by a phone's frantic ring. I soon realized that all 55 Cantabile members had left for the airport and my roommate and I were about to be stranded in Russia. With Cantabile I have had many adventures, from speeding over St. Petersburg bridges trying to catch a plane to singing in Carnegie Hall. I've made many amazing friends with whom I've driven aimlessly through streets and shared many delicious frozen yogurts. I will never forget the feeling of belting the Estonian national anthem with 300,000 other people or keeping time with Kronos. Cantabile has taught me how to be passionate about something and for that I'm grateful. So goodbye to my wonderful friends (and Elena's wonderful fashion), I will miss you dearly and I know that you have a fantastic future ahead of you. Now I have a plane to catch.” 

angie Angelina Murphy, Santa Teresa High School

“Cantabile has a very special place in my heart. I've had so many irreplaceable memories, from performing in Carnegie Hall to singing with Stephen Hatfield. Cantabile has strengthened my abilities as a musician and taught me true dedication through many rehearsals and countless performances. I appreciate Cantabile for providing me the opportunity to meet so many great people and I am thankful that it has continued to fuel my passion for music and performing. Although I'm sad to leave, I'm happy to venture into my future with all the knowledge and experience Cantabile has given me!

 clara Clara Takahashi, Monte Vista High School

"I’ve been in Cantabile for seven years, and it has been an important and formative force in my life since day one. Without Cantabile, I’m certain I wouldn’t have been how I am, doing what I’m doing today; Cantabile has helped me grow musically in theory and performance, have unique experiences through its tours and retreats, and has given me a passion for music that will definitely continue into my adult life. Cantabile has also given me a great group of friends with whom I can completely be myself, due to the fact that they’re always themselves around me, as well, and with whom I also want to stay in contact even when we separate for college. For me, remembering Cantabile won’t be optional, since I’ll be living its influence every day.”


 Laura Tesarowski, San Mateo High School

Every Monday at 4:45 the magic moment comes when I get into my car, crank up the tunes, and take the trip down to Los Altos to enjoy spending the next 3 hours with some of my favorite people where I get to make the music that has become such an essential part of my life. In my tenure at Cantabile I have enjoyed learning about everything from ancient Balinese rituals to the origin of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet, mixed in with a little bit of jazz along the way. I have been inspired by my teachers at Cantabile to look beyond the notes and rhythms to find the meaning of a piece, and now as I go off to university I hope to become as excellent a teacher as the ones who have inspired me over the years. I love this choir so much, and missing it will certainly take some getting used to next year.”

sc002e4d92  Katerina Zorko, Monte Vista High School

!is for the amazing Conductors that I’ve had the honor and privilege to be taught by throughout my 5 years at Cantabile. Thank you Elena, Jennah, and Shane!

is for Cantabile’s A cappella group that I’ve been blessed to be a part of this year.

is for the New friends I have made, who have even become some of my best friends.

is for the Time I have given Cantabile, but in return I have received so much more.

is for the Adventures I’ve had such as teaching a Finnish choir African dance and beatboxing for “Macaroni Party” at skit night.

is for the Baltic tour, my first tour with Cantabile where I was a part of a powerful group of 30,000 singers in Estonia.

is for the Independence I’ve gained as an individual through singing in choir. !!

is for the Laughs I’ve shared at every rehearsal.

is for Everything close to me, everything I value that I now must part ways with. Goodbye Cantabile and thank you for Everything. 


Cantabile's Class of 2011


Class of 2011Cantabile"s Class of 2011 (left to right): Brianna Krong, Anna Boadwee, Laurel Howard, Elizabeth Bell, Julian Bliss

"It is nearly impossible for me to process the fact that my time with Cantabile is ending after eleven years.  I know endings are inevitable, but that does not stop me from wishing I could keep singing with Cantabile forever.  It has been such an important part of my life, teaching me the meaning of community and the power of music.  I will never forget the amazing experiences I have had as part of this organization.  I have sung with 37 thousand people in Estonia, destroyed the language barrier in St. Petersburg, and performed in Carnegie Hall twice.  As I move onto college at Tufts University, I will hold these memories close and attempt to find something comparable there.  It will be difficult, but I know that I shall keep singing."

-- Elizabeth Bell


“Words cannot express what I'd like to say about my time in Cantabile, let alone one short paragraph. Nevertheless, I shall try my best. It's been a prominent staple of my life, enriching my youth in many ways. It started with a camp, apt that it was something simple. We did arts and crafts, made ice sculptures, and shockingly, we also sang! It was a nourishing environment, perfect for kids. So subsequently, since it caught my interest, I joined the choir. My very first non-camp songs were "Jubilate Deo" and "Ferry Me Across the Water." I remember them eidetically only because it was the start of one of the greatest accomplishments of my life, an uncountable myriad of years spent in Cantabile. So I went from one session in Preparatory,to one session in Intermediate, and in my 3rd year, I was in Ensemble. I was taught by Peggy Spool and Signe Boyer respectively. Many have come and gone in those years, those years when we sang songs in Japanese, Czech, and learned of an unimaginable amount of Music Theory and world cultures. But then Elena came. Elena had, and will continue to have after I’m in the real and un-spoon-fed world, a choral conducting acumen that is unrivaled. It can be summed up into a single word, a word that her choirs associate with her so well, that it pierces out amongst her so-called catchphrases. Passion. In my years, I’ve “gaily tripped” and “lightly skipped” to the HMS Pinafore, endured through monkey chants, bragged about living in oak trees, and helped to make the world a better place. Quite an endeavor to say the least, and I say without a shred of doubt that I regret nothing. I do not regret giving up my Theatre on Ice; I do not regret any choices I’ve made concerning the choir. The only thing I might even consider regretting is living in a universe where I am bound by the fact that I must grow up, past the glorious epoch of youth, for in that land, I could be with Cantabile forever. So I suppose this is my farewell, I hope that my dogged personality has contributed to the choir, as for myself, I hope to continue changing the world, one note at a time.”

-- Julian Bliss 


"The past three years I've been with Cantabile have been incredible. I love all the wonderful friends I have made here and the passion for music and talent for conducting Elena brings to rehearsal. I have learned that music has an intangible power that can inspire and bring people together like nothing else. One of my favorite memories of Cantabile was our trip to Estonia, where we sang in the Laulupidu Song Festival. Feeling our voices join with those of 30,000 other singers and looking out at the audience of 80,000 was incredible. Though I will be across the country studying international affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., my memories of Cantabile and love of singing will stay with me. I always want to be a singer, a member of a choir, and a voice for change in the world."

-- Anna Boadwee


"To leave behind Cantabile is to leave behind years of incredible music and amazing friends. Only at Cantabile do singers perform zany skits and memorize Russian, all with a smile. Cantabile has brightened many days, provided the basis for many a college essay, and supported me in an irreplaceable way. Cantabile has encouraged me to be informed and active in my community and the world. Because of Cantabile, I really believe that music makes a difference. So goodbye to close friends, to hot chocolate at Camp Jones Gulch, to making a party out of practicing, to crazy African dances, and to Cantabile. Goodbye, and thank you for ten great years."

-- Laurel Howard


"Finishing out my final year in Cantabile, it seems strange to be leaving. I auditioned for Cantabile as an impossibly shy 11-year-old who'd never sung in a choir before. Six years later, I've stood on the stage of Carnegie Hall twice, toured the Baltics, sung in operas, and performed Carmina Burana more times than I can count. But more importantly: I have performed a tango, a Balinese monkey chant, an a capella jazz arrangement, and a liturgical Russian piece... all in one concert. I've hosted fellow singers from Germany and England. I've learned the difference between classical and vernacular Latin, and I've spent countless hours perfecting my Estonian.

Cantabile has done so much more for me than train my ear or even improve upon my knowledge of musical theory. Cantabile has instilled in me an appreciation for multiculturalism, a sense of empathy for the oppressed and forgotten, and a thirst to try new things. I know that I'll take Elena's three Cs (courage, compassion, and curiosity) with me to Wellesley College next year and beyond."

-- Brianna Krong