Our non-traditional year has led to 3 non-traditional holiday videos by our high school choral program.
I present all three because they are all vastly different.
None of these videos required extra time on my part to make. None of these videos required extra time of the students on their part, although on one of the three videos, they CHOSE to spend hours upon hours to bring it to life.
Normally, we would travel from school to school and carol. We decided to bring our caroling to the district with a 360 degree camera angle. We recorded two days of rehearsals to accommodate all in-person hybrid students.
To check out the 360 degree camera angle capturing my split self-selected choir singing the carols during rehearsal, you must click on the YouTube link!
As our student-run a-cappella program has gone virtual this year, one of our groups decided to make a holiday virtual video.
I’m so proud of my students. This was 100% done by students. I hope their smiling faces put you in the spirit of the holidays!
Being a successful leader of a choral program during the pandemic doesn’t mean we need to work 24/7 and give up our personal lives. When we empower our students to be leaders and provide them with the proper tools, they can do amazing things. In addition to our 3 teacher-led ensembles, we have 8 student-run a-cappella groups at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFKHS. In every student-run group, students write all arrangements, do all the teaching, and make all personnel decisions.
Here is a holiday video made by one of our 8 student-run a-cappella groups, covering “Underneath the Tree”, originally performed by Kelly Clarkson. Members of Noteworthy wrote this arrangement and rehearsed fully on their own, mainly virtually. They recorded the vocals from their own houses, and did their own editing, mixing, and video-editing.
I’m so proud of the initiative and effort that these students displayed!
In our bass/tenor lesson (last names A-K of our hybrid schedule), one of our student leaders asked if he could teach the other basses and tenors “Feliz Navidad”. “Feliz Navidad” is the traditional holiday piece of one of our student-run A-Cappella groups, the Acafellas. In this lesson, 1/2 of the students were not members of the Acafellas.
Our student leader got up during the lesson and improvised a shortened arrangement that recognized Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. He also empowered a non Acafella member to sing the coveted ending solo. I hope these 60 seconds will hopefully but a smile on your face!
As we learn how to let go, the joy of student empowerment will shine through!
Happy holidays from Choral Clarity!