End of the Year Update
As I sit down to write this, I do not feel the typical sense of relief and accomplishment that comes with the end of the school year. Normally, this is a time when we celebrate our graduating seniors, a year of incredible performances, and the completion of final exams. The last third of our year was incredibly unexpected and tough, and I would like to take this opportunity to both mourn the experiences our students missed and celebrate their accomplishments during this difficult time of remote learning.
What We Missed
The list is long. When school closed, we were just approaching the best time of the year for performances. All the hard work students put in at the beginning of the year was starting to come to fruition. Just in the choral department (not to mention the many students who also participate in instrumental ensembles), we missed the 4th Grade Chorus Concert, our Festival Preview concert, Treble Choir at the MICCA Festival, Chamber Singers at the Ithaca College Choral Festival, VPAD, Chicago HSE, WHS Choral Night, Chorale at the WHS Music Festival, the Memorial Day Ceremony, A Cappella in a Day, and Graduation. Students missed out on end of the year parties and ceremonies, saying goodbye to teachers and friends, and many annual events that they look forward to with great anticipation.
What We Accomplished
The performances that did occur in 2019-2020 proved to be much more precious. I’m so glad that students had the opportunity to perform at our December concerts, the MICCA and NESBA Marching Band shows, the Veteran’s Day ceremony, Voices of Steel at the FOLQ Event, our December a cappella gigs, the WHS A Cappella Night, ICHSA, the NED Senior Festival, She Major at the International Women’s Day Event, and the All-State Festival.
Although our Learn Anywhere activities did not recreate what we do in the classroom, students had the opportunity to try new things. In the last three months, choral students completed activities like creating their own quarantine playlist, sending me videos of themselves singing, creating collaborations with each other using different types of technology, practicing their sight-reading skills, playing a virtual game of Kahoot, listening and responding to music that deals with racial justice, creating a video recruiting new students to our ensembles, just to name a few. Music plays such an important role in our lives, especially in difficult times. Though we weren’t able to sing together in ensembles, I feel confident that students continued to find new ways to explore and deepen their musical skills and understanding during this extended Learn Anywhere time.
Goodbye & Good Luck to the Class of 2020 Seniors!
We will miss you, and you are always welcome to visit the Chorus Room!
Sofie Bruce - Saint Anselm College
Jay Caples - Wentworth Institute of Technology
Jillian Casa - UMass Amherst
Theo Cheever - Holyoke Community College
Rowan Dubé - UMass Lowell
Bobby Feldman - Wentworth Institute of Technology
CJ Hagen - Keene State University
Kyra Hoffman - Vassar College
Brock Johnson - Utah State University
Matt Lepke - UMass Amherst
Braelyn McLaughlin - Merrimack College
Maddie Melanson - Trinity College
Donnella Nardone - Lasell University
Elisabeth Nordeen - Marymount Manhattan College
Ellianna Ouellette - University of New Hampshire
Riley Porter - University of Rhode Island
Emily Pudvah - Boston College
Daniella Sinnott - UMass Boston
Please enjoy this virtual version of (what would have been) our graduation song for our seniors!
We have no upcoming events, but we can’t wait to be able to perform again when it is safe!!
When we are able to sing again together, it will be with renewed appreciation of and gratitude for the beauty and value of our art form. I anxiously await the day! Thank you for your support of the WHS Choral Department this year.
I hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing summer!