Choir performs in virtual concert

Natalie Cosgrove

The Performing Arts Department hosted a virtual choir concert Dec. 13 featuring Bel Canto, Wolverine Chorus and Chamber Singers. Performing Arts teacher Zanaida Robles directed the concert.

The performance started off with Wolverine Chorus singing “Candidato Domino” and continued with a strategic blend of pop culture and gospel music. Each performance was prefaced with a small excerpt of a personally selected song from soloists, beginning with Bel Canto singer Kiki Cooper ’23.

“Preparing the video for me wasn’t super challenging. I just simply had to learn and remember the songs, then send in videos for each one,” Cooper said. “However, I know it was a lot of work for Dr. Robles and the editing team, and so I appreciate all of their efforts very much. My favorite part of preparing for the concert was waiting for when I could hear all of us together because it has been a while since I have actually sung with other people and heard other people’s voices.”

The virtual event featured visual design elements highlighting the students

Throughout each song, there were visual effects projecting home photos and videos of the students and relevant images based on the lyrics playing. Along with that, there were also various students dancing to the music, adding to the festive feel of the show.

Bel Canto singer and student director Mariela Breidsprecher ’21 introduced a female empowerment song by Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga called “Rain On Me,” sung by all women Bel Canto.

During the production, Joy Ho ’22 performed a parody version of a popular Megan Thee Stallion song. In addition to singing, the show also incorporated piano by Performing Arts teacher Sara Shakliyan and violin by Kieran Chung ’23 in the last song, “Peace Peace.”

The concert was entirely virtual and students practiced via Zoom only

All students were at home during their performances, and the conductor and pianist were both playing from school. The show was not live which allowed for the opportunity to add video editing effects.

“I think we sounded really nice, and I’m impressed with how we were able to blend with each other, even over Zoom,” Chamber Singer and Vice President Billy Johnson ’22 said. “The process was a little worrying and thoroughly embarrassing, recording yourself singing to a track by yourself in a bow tie and sweats. It definitely didn’t feel like a real concert, but I’m glad it at least sounded like one.”

The rehearsals for the show were conducted online with students constantly on mute to prevent clashing of audios, Johnson said.

This was the first virtual choir concert in HW’s history among the Covid-19 pandemic

“Even though I would’ve definitely preferred to have the concert in person to have the sense of a real performance, I’m really glad that we had it, ” Johnson said. “It was definitely refreshing to finally be able to hear what we all sound like together and I was really pleased, all things considered.”