Sounds good to me

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Chorus students come together for their winter recording. Jomisko tried to social distance everyone as much as possible on the stage of West Bradenton Baptist Church. “Without the soundproof walls our songs are heard at true capacity and I really love that sound,” Angee Reyes (11) said.

Hannah Kesten, Staff Reporter

The pandemic brought many challenges to this year’s classes, including chorus. To keep people safe, Mr. Jomisko, the vocal teacher, decided to record his winter concert and post it on social media. This was disappointing to many students looking forward to an in-person concert, but it was better than nothing.

“Having too many people in one place is obviously not the safest way to handle things right now, so the recording was a way for us to still prepare for a performance and still perform for people and allow our families to see what we’ve been working on without putting anyone at risk,” stated Jomisko.

Socially distanced, students prepare for their winter concert recording. The mix of men and women’s choirs created a different range of voices. “I know a lot of the time the girls are fascinated with the notes the guys can hit, and hopefully, they feel the same. The difference in range is very clear if you listen to the basses and sopranos warming up,” Angee Reyes (11) said.

Chorus classes were completely mixed up this year due to last-minute conflicts writing the schedule over the summer. Lower-level students had to sing side by side with higher-level students, and boys and girls were not separate like usual. Mr. Jomisko worked with the choir kids to prepare two pieces to perform as an entire program.

“Generally, in every concert, we have at least one or two pieces where everyone sings together anyways, so it just kinda felt like that where we were all singing together and preparing our collective number,” said Jomisko.

However, students had worries of their own about the upcoming show.

“It’s a little different because, obviously, you don’t know what it’s going to sound like until rehearsal day, so it’s a little scary when your section’s really quiet,” Aubrey Barkley (10) said.

Masks also posed a problem by getting in the way of the students’ voices. They had to overcome this struggle by projecting louder than usual, which became harder with everyone trying to social distance.

“Singing socially distanced is not ideal either,” said Jomisko. “We weren’t quite six feet apart, but we did the best we could on the stage. It’s always easier to sing when you’re a little bit closer proximity than that.”

Since they performed in winter, Christmas and holiday songs were the focus of the concert. The pandemic made borrowing chorus dresses and suits difficult, so instead, students came in Christmas-colored attire.

“Dressing up in Christmas sweaters was probably my favorite part,” Barkley said.

Although this created a different feeling than a normal concert, it became a more relaxed and enjoyable environment for many students.

“It was really really great to get everyone together and perform, even if it was just for ourselves; to just kind of be on the stage, and be a group, together, singing, like the chorus is supposed to be,” Jomisko said.

All in all, the chorus program did not regret making a concert for the families and students to appreciate. Many obstacles stood in the way of a winter concert, but the program succeeded in overcoming them to create an inspirational performance anyone could enjoy.