COVID-19, commonly known as the “Coronavirus,” has been dominating the media in resourceful news, debatable topics, misleading numbers, and even memes to evoke humor. As the pandemic spreads, schools all over the world have shut down in precaution, leaving students with ambivalent feelings. Valencia High School’s choir, in particular, is one of many programs affected.
Closing schools and switching to learning online was a necessary step in preventing transmission of COVID-19, but many choir members agree it was a shame that all of the group’s activities had to be canceled. Many plans have been thrown out the window, and lots of hard work, from both students and the choir director, have unfortunately gone to waste.
Choir is an elective on campus that includes many fun trips and events that members look forward to. This year, the choir worked hard to fundraise for a trip to Boston, where they would visit the Berklee School of Music. They also practiced pieces diligently for upcoming choral competitions, festivals, and concerts. However, due to recent circumstances regarding the virus, these activities cannot no longer take place. This is especially upsetting for seniors, as it is their last year with the group.
Although students have mixed thoughts on having to stop all choir plans, Christine Tavares-Mocha, VHS’ choir director, has decided to make the most out of this inevitable end to the school year. She stresses the importance of always looking on the bright side, no matter what obstacles fall in front of people’s paths. She stated to her students, “I know a lot seems uncertain, but one thing’s for certain, we will have class, and I will do my best to make it fun and educational. Stay healthy, hug your loved ones, and keep singing. As this is new territory for many of us, we want to offer ways for you all to be together in this time, even though we’re physically apart.”
As promised, Mrs. Mocha has been doing the best she can to stay positive with online learning. Assignments incorporate singing, listening, and sighting music for music theory guidance, but in enjoyable ways. A creative musical bingo spin-off called “Singo” was created as an assignment, where certain tasks had to be completed. These activities definitely appealed to the high school generation, as they included playful things like creating a choir related Tik Tok or meme. They also tested vocal and sight-reading skills in order for it to be a learning experience. Most important of all were the family connection activities, which included singing with family members. Choir’s online class is not only about learning music in another setting but is also a reminder to stay close to others during this difficult time.
COVID-19 has taken an immense toll on many lives, causing many unfortunate changes to people’s plans. However, it is very important to stay positive in times such as these, and students are lucky that VHS’ choir is there for them. As people work hard to stop this disease, taking the time to see the glass half full is something we all can do.
Jasmine Jhun, Grade 9
Valencia High School