High hopes for sophomore soloist in Saratoga Idol December 19, 2018 — by Krithi Sankar Permalink On Dec. 5 2017, the audience roared as the judges chose then freshman Mithil Chakraborty as the winner of last year’s Saratoga Idol competition. Though Chakraborty didn’t participate this year, the annual Saratoga Idol contest was on Nov. 27 from 7-9 PM. Junior class office — consisting of president Emma Hsu, vice president Katie Lam, treasurer Bryan Chu, secretary Alex Lee and class representatives Cameron Chow and Claire Smerdon — hosted the event in the McAfee Theater. The competition had nine soloists and five group performers, with guest judges [insert names here] to decide on the winners per category. With 3 weeks of preparations, junior class office booked the McAfee, released sign-ups and held multiple rehearsals in order for Saratoga Idol to be a success. While some of the students participating are amateur singers, sophomore Akshar Sarvesh, who participated in both the solo and group categories, has been singing since he was 5. Sarvesh started taking contemporary singing from a young age but has now become a seasoned vocalist, being that he’s a member of the school’s honor choir and first place recipient in the Underclassmen Boys Musical Theater category at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) regional competition on Nov. 3. Sarvesh even received praise from principal Paul Robinson on his NATS win with a congratulating remark in his weekly email. Sarvesh has been practicing nonstop for Saratoga Idol, by preparing his solo piece “Hotel California” at a recent guitar recital and practicing with us group En Chords during most blue day tutorials. Although he was bit nervous going into the competition, Sarvesh was glad to showcase his talents in front of the school community. "A large portion of the school is watching, so it's kind of scary; however, I know that it really comes down to my performance that matters, not them,” Sarvesh said. Being the previous winner of Saratoga Idol, Chakraborty has some advice for the performers at this year’s Idol competition. "My only advice is try to sing what you enjoy and what you think you are best at. Don't stress and have fun."