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We Believe: winter choral concert goes virtual

The Winter Choir Concert happens via Vimeo streaming Dec. 11, 2020. Photo by Nirel 25

On December 11, 2020, the Winter Choir Concert premiered virtually. Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, and the Melodic Mustangs each performed three songs.

Each group practiced their songs at least once a week. All choirs sang ‘I Believe’ by Mark Miller, along with other pieces. The Choir Program Head Angela Lin wanted to showcase songs that were either written by members of the BIPOC community or were made to educate others about the BIPOC community. During the concert, a Zoom recording was played of Dr. Rosephanye Powell, whose songs ‘Pete Pete’ and ‘Swing Low: A Spiritual Medley’ was sung during the concert. She described spirituals as a coming together of races and discussed how music itself unites people.

“I think in the choir classroom, I wanted to lift up those voices,…, specifically highlighting those from our black voices and musicians and artists who have made great influences in today’s education,” Lin said.

Rehearsals for all three choirs were led by Lin over Zoom. One difficulty of having rehearsals virtually is that the students are usually muted since everyone’s audio doesn’t always sync up. This makes it difficult for Lin to hear what everyone sounds like. Recently, she has started asking certain students to unmute themselves so that she can hear and help them. 

“I’ve had to challenge my students to sing unmuted, and I do think that’s building a different type of confidence as a singer, which is definitely something I want to make sure I carry into the future,” Lin said.

Students have been practicing multiple times a week after school or during set class periods. After memorizing their piece, the students take some time to record themselves singing their part. Once they send it in, Lin, music director Nicky Brenner and music instructor Luke Rothschild cut the clips together to create the concert. “I feel like when she edits it, it sounds really good! Just as it would sound if we were back at school together in Caswell,” Victoria ‘25 said.

The concert was full of edits that required extreme coordination from both the editors and singers. Some of these edits include the illusion of passing a candle to multiple people and forming a heart out of Chamber Choir’s recorded videos. One of Lin’s main goals was to add an exciting aspect to most of the pieces even though it would be challenging. She said that editing this concert was one her greatest achievements during quarantine and hopes that she helps spread holiday cheer!

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