Whistle While You... Compete: NHS Senior In Whistling Contest
Ahead of the 2019-20 school year’s start, Newtown High School senior Shivani Mendiratta traveled to Pasadena, Calif., to participate in the Masters of Musical Whistling competition.
She has been whistling since she was young. Shivani remembers practicing in the basement of her family’s home with her younger sister, Isha. Their father, Tarun Mendiratta, has “always been a big whistler,” and the girls wanted to learn.
“I’ve been whistling, I think, since I was around 7 or 8,” Shivani said.
A couple years ago Shivani began researching professional whistling options, and she eventually discovered information about the Masters of Musical Whistling competition
According to the competition’s website, mastersofwhistling.com, “The Masters of Musical Whistling is an international festival, competition, and concert created to celebrate, promote, and revive the ancient art of whistling, which has existed since the dawn of humanity... The Masters of Musical Whistling showcases the best whistlers in the world as instrumentalists of professional caliber. International performers, competitors, and enthusiasts come from around the world to celebrate and enjoy musical whistling at the [Masters of Musical Whistling]. Our International Concert of the Masters, Competition Concert, and Master Class Whistling School are open to the public. The Masters of Musical Whistling is produced and organized by The Whistling Diva, Carole Anne Kaufman, a two-time world whistling champion, Whistling Entertainer of the Year award winner, event producer, and passionate performing artist determined to bring whistling to the mainstream and recognized as a fine art form.”
Shivani applied this year. To apply, Shivani recorded a video of herself whistling two tunes — “La Vie En Rose” by Edith Piaf and “Badinerie” by Johann Sebastian Bach. She then waited for news.
“I got in,” she explained.
Her family — Isha, Mr Mendiratta, and her mother, Sweta Mendiratta — went with her to the competition, held between August 24 and 25.
Only the top 60 whistlers in the world made it to the championship, “So I was thankful to be invited,” Shivani said after the competition.
“I think I did pretty well,” Shivani reflected, adding that the division she participated in did not make her eligible to complete for the world champion title. Shivani performed “Never Enough” from the movie The Greatest Showman for the competition.
“It was a really good experience,” she said.
Meeting all of the competitors and attendees was the best part. Everyone had different hobbies and interests, but they all had whistling in common, she shared.
“It was a very global event, so it was really cool to meet people,” she said.
Shivani has more whistling plans for her future, like possibly competing again next year. For now, she will continue whistling all of the time, whether in the car or completing homework.
“I think I just want to continue, and I want to get better,” Shivani said.