Virtual choir concert sees astounding success

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Cambell Kirk

Carlmont’s Women’s Choir performs “Blackbird” over YouTube as part of the concert.

The fall semester of distance learning made it especially challenging for choir students to learn, sing, and perform music

Over the past three months, they compiled various songs into a virtual concert, which made its debut on YouTube on Thursday.

“It was really cool to see it all come together,” said Megan Hughes, a junior in concert choir. “My favorite song was ‘Eleanor Rigby.’ It was challenging to figure out the audio and to get everyone’s individual part right, but when I heard it all come together for the first time, I was just like ‘wow.'”

Assembling the video was no easy feat; the students started rehearsing months ago. Because of distance learning, everything had to be virtual, which meant singing together in the choir room was a luxury of the past.

“It’s hard to sound your best when you can’t hear everyone else singing around you,” said Lise Teyssier, a junior.

After weeks of practice, every student recorded their final audio, singing along to the tracks.

Genevieve Tep, the choir teacher, and a sound engineer layered the sound bits together to create one cohesive piece. Everyone’s clips had to be combined seamlessly to create the final, harmonical masterpiece.

After the song was perfected, the students recorded a video lip-syncing along to the final audio.

Then it came time to piece it all together. Tep and the choir kids worked on layering everything together perfectly, and the result was a beautiful 45-minute concert.

“The most rewarding part of the whole process was watching that final video,” said Mark Castro, a junior and member of Chamber Singers. “We could really see how all our work paid off.”

Friends and family were able to tune into the concert from their homes Thursday evening. They enjoyed several holiday favorites, such as “Oh Christmas Tree,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” and “Jazzy Jingle Bells.”

The concert concluded with the yearly tradition of “Carol of the Bells.” Usually, alumni join the current choir onstage to close every winter concert with the piece. Unfortunately, given the current pandemic, that wasn’t an option this year.

“This year, we had to continue the tradition in a bit of a different way,” Teyssier said. “It was mainly used as a way to bring everyone together and remember the great times we’ve had when singing the song. The entire experience really reminded me of all the spirit and strength we have as a choir.”

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