10th Grade Choir, Cecilian Singers, and OMA Have Their First Concert of the Year

Choir+Director+Erik+Clayton+introduces+the+choir+at+the+beginning+of+the+concert%2C+in+State+College+PA%2C+Nov.+18.+The+10th+Grade+Choir%2C+Cecilian+Singers%2C+and+OMA+had+their+first+concert+of+the+year+and+they+were+required+to+wear+masks+and+social+distance.+

Choir Director Erik Clayton introduces the choir at the beginning of the concert, in State College PA, Nov. 18. The 10th Grade Choir, Cecilian Singers, and OMA had their first concert of the year and they were required to wear masks and social distance.

Adam Lieb, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, the 10th Grade Choir, Cecilian Singers, and OMA had their first performance of the year. In lieu of an audience, the performances were live-streamed on YouTube for family and friends to watch. The performance took place in the new State High Performance Hall, masked, six feet apart, with the concert limited to 30 minutes.

“Wearing masks and singing has been a challenge this year, but we gotta do what we gotta do,” senior Hope Petrosky in Cecilian and Master Singers said. 

Five songs were performed, each accompanied by Rebbeca Clayton. 

“The program was chosen to speak somewhat to the times we are facing, including themes of friendship, solitude, and hope,” said Erik Clayton, director of the choirs, in reference to his carefully selected pieces the choir sang. He continued, saying, “We began the concert with an energetic opener ‘I will arise and make music’ by Laura Farnell, followed by ‘For Good’ from the music Wicked. The middle piece in the program was a German piece titled ‘Innsbruck’ by Heinrich Isaac, which tells the story of a long-distance relationship. The program concluded with a setting of Robert Frost’s poem ‘Stopping by woods on a snowy evening’ and a gospel medley ‘Take me to the water.” 

Leading up to the concert, practices were not normal either. Students who are remote join practice through Google Meet, like regular classes. 

“It’s obviously not the most ideal style of concert but just being able to be together and sing at all is an opportunity that I’m thankful for,” Petrosky said. “It’s hard not being able to have everyone together, because during our practices there’s not that many people in the classroom when we do have in person, so the first time I got to hear everyone at the concert that was going to be singing together, that was really nice.” 

Despite the obstacles they had to overcome, students were grateful for the opportunity to sing amid unique times. 

“I know for my seniors (I’m a senior, my friends are seniors) it’s kind of disappointing this year in general but like I said we’re also thankful for any opportunity we do get to come together as a choir in different situations,” Petrosky said. 

Clayton prefers in-person concerts compared to editing a virtual one and thinks students would agree.

“I think they were really glad to have a performance, and be able to make music together live, and not over Zoom or Google Meet. Definitely getting to do a performance like this is much better than just singing over Zoom and piecing together a virtual performance,” Clayton said. 

Musical groups have had to take momentous adaptations to stay safe in the midst of a pandemic, and Clayton thinks some aspects of this style of concert will carry forward, “…providing a live-stream of our concerts I think will become a standard aspect of our concerts going forward.”

Nov. 18 wasn’t students’ last opportunity to perform their hard practiced music to a virtual audience, as four more concerts are scheduled this school year and this format of concert has been approved by the safety committee.

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