Choirs carol in football stadium during COVID-19

With the ongoing pandemic, plans for some events have had to be altered or cancelled. One event that survived the alterations is the choir’s winter concert.

Caroling+in+the+cold%E2%80%A6+Minutes+prior+to+their+performance%2C+Logan+Conver%2C+Felicia+Capiello%2C+Thomas+Updike%2C+and+Simon+Hershberger%2C+as+well+as+the+rest+of+the+concert+choir%2C+rehearsed+their+program+one+last+time.+The+concert+was+hosted+outside+to+minimize+the+risk+of+COVID-19+infections.

Caroling in the cold… Minutes prior to their performance, Logan Conver, Felicia Capiello, Thomas Updike, and Simon Hershberger, as well as the rest of the concert choir, rehearsed their program one last time. The concert was hosted outside to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections.

By hosting two outdoor concerts on December 10, the school choirs attempted to minimize the risk of anyone contracting COVID-19 while still carrying out their annual winter concert traditions.
The high school’s choir concerts have been an annual tradition for years. Despite the pandemic, the choir students and director decided not to cancel that tradition, and worked to find a way around it.
The school’s new choir director Jon Timmons had been trying to find a way to carry out the concert without risking any of the students’ health, as well as the audience’s.
His solution was an outdoor concert, which took place during the school day. The capacity was more limited than it has been in past years, but Timmons worked to keep the concert up and running.
“I wanted to give some sense of normalcy,” Timmons said. Timmons said that he knows the choir students joined the class to sing and perform, and that an alternate music plan is not what they signed up for.
Timmons wanted to make the choir students feel like they are still in choir, and believed that “having a concert to work towards and do is giving [the choir] some sense of normalcy amidst the crazy.”
Alongside Timmons, the choir’s officers have helped to keep the concert’s plans afloat. Women’s Choir President Ashley Caputo helped with the concert’s planning.
“We’re just there to help Mr. Timmons with whatever he wants.” Caputo said. “We’re always available because he’s mainly been dealing with it and getting the logistics figured out.”
Helping out Timmons with whatever tasks he needs has been a common theme amongst the choir officers. Concert choir president Elyse Shumac has a similar job to Caputo. “I help Mr. Timmons with attendance and anything else he asks for,” Shumac said.
Concert choir vice president, Manmeet Kaur also helps out. Due to COVID-19, one of Kaur’s jobs was removed. In a typical concert situation, Kaur would be in charge of getting the concert choir’s attire organized and prepared. Due to the different location of the performance, the choirs did not have any special attire.
The choir officers, as well as Timmons, felt that the concert was important to the class. Timmons said that the concert is not just about performing, but also “for the emotional well-being and the mental health of students.”
Caputo and the other officers have other reasons as to why they believe that the concert is important. “It’s going to be a little bit cold probably, but it’s going to be nice. It keeps the spirit of Christmas in choir.” Caputo said. She said that the concert was fun since “all the choir kids [had] have their own little concert to perform for their parents and family.”
Kaur’s thoughts on the concert were partially academic.
“I think it is important to have a concert because it keeps everyone focused and gives us something to showcase our talent as a group.” Kaur said. She believed that even though the audience will not be as large as it normally is, the effort put into it is still important.
Shumac, like Timmons, thought the concert was important to the student’s mental health. Shumac said that the class is one of the only things that makes some of the students happy, and helps distract them from the pandemic.
“The concert isn’t just a time for us to be in front of our friends and loved ones. It’s a time for bonding with our other peers.” Schumac said.