Since the beginning of this entire coronavirus pandemic, one very disappointing and valuable opportunity many of us have lost is visiting live concerts. High schools, middle schools, and elementary schools with music programs normally hold live concerts every winter , however, none have the opportunity to showcase a live winter concert filled with music this holiday season. Therefore, some schools put in much effort to continue to deliver beautiful music to audience members.
Crescenta Valley High School is a school that is known for having many diverse musical groups, all outstanding. Family members and friends always look forward to the live winter concert that is held during the third week of December, but due to the coronavirus, these plans were changed so that musicians could deliver the music they practiced through a virtual concert held through Zoom. The high school musicians at Crescenta Valley had been working on many different compositions of music throughout the entire distance learning semester. Their conductor worked very hard to bring these students together so that they could keep creating music even though they were far apart physically.
The Crescenta Valley Instrumental Music Winter Concert was made of performances from five different musical groups; Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, Jazz Band, Symphony, and Marching Band. Each group showcased two to three songs that were holiday themed. These performances were created by each student musician submitting an individual video of themselves playing the music to the conductor. After the numerous videos were collected, the conductor worked with editors to put all of the different parts together, making one sound. Especially in the symphony group, it was very difficult to make a single sound, but with hours of work, it eventually came together. As music relies heavily on the connections and interactions between the musicians, it was very hard for all of them to make music as one, but the highest level of achievement was met despite the obstacles.
Some of the pieces of music that were performed were “The First Noel” by the Wind Ensemble, “The Christmas Symphony” by the String Orchestra, “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by the Jazz Band, “The Polar Express” by the Symphony, and finally “Washington Post March” by the March Band. A viewer of the concert mentioned, “The Polar Express piece performed by the Symphony brought about many recognizable songs from the Polar Express. Not only that, the balance between all of the different sections (strings, winds, brass) was very nice despite being online. The variations between the tempos in the particular piece gave me great excitement and happiness.”
These holiday pieces captured the attention of the audience members even through a screen, which made them miss all of the former live concerts with live music. The Crescenta Valley Instrumental Music Program’s Winter Concert showed everyone that it is still possible to create music from different places and continue to deliver happiness and joy through the element of music.