Choir is Cathartic
Dominic Perez

Whether it’s your forte or not, music has a tremendous effect on many people’s lives. Many people find passion in singing and playing instruments while others love listening to music throughout their day. I have personally developed a deep passion for singing and playing my guitar and love listening to many genres of music, anywhere between jazz, rock, and even a cappella. As a student who participates in many of the music programs that Southridge offers, I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to continue pursuing music despite the current pandemic. 

Although it sounds cheesy, since I joined the Senior Choir and Vocal Ensemble in ninth grade, attending choir rehearsals was always a highlight of my day. I've always appreciated the welcoming environment, full of people who all share a passion for singing. 

When Southridge transitioned to online learning last school year, I was disappointed by the realization that clubs would not resume after Spring Break. Therefore I was incredibly excited when Ms. Parker, the Southridge Choir Director, offered the option to be part of the ISABC Virtual Choir. For this choir, we were required to learn the song on our own and submit a recording of ourselves singing. Although it wasn’t the same as attending rehearsals at lunch and singing with the group, I was very excited to learn the song “You Will Be Found”, one of the songs from my favorite musical, Dear Evan Hansen. Overall, it turned out to be a great experience and I was thrilled to have had one more opportunity to sing with some of my friends during that school year, even if we couldn’t be in the same room.

Moving forward into the 2020-2021 school year, I was pessimistic about the chances of the Senior Choir or Vocal Ensemble being able to operate. Fortunately, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Ms. Parker, the Senior Choir has been able to resume. As a result of the pandemic, the choir is split into three groups: one for Grade 8 and 9 students, one for Grade 10 and 11 students, and one for Grade 12 students. While each section of the choir rehearses separately, we all still learn the same songs. Within each section, we maintain social distance and wear specialized masks for singers that allow for easier breaths and even better articulation. So far, I've been very impressed by Ms. Parker's thought and effort put into maintaining the choir while keeping the members safe. Although it's a smaller group of students, choir rehearsals continue to be highlights of my day.

In the winter, each section of the Senior choir learned the song "Welcome Christmas", from the movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". After weeks of practice, each student individually recorded their part. These tracks were all compiled by Ms. Parker and we recorded a video over Zoom to accompany it. Alongside the video, as part of the Grade 8 Winter Concert, the choir's Grade 8 students as well as a few additional members including myself performed the song live. I've been proud to be a part of this recent project. It was very fun, and I look forward to more projects like these in the future.

Despite the restrictions put in place to accommodate health and safety guidelines, the Senior Choir continues to feel as lively as it always has been. Overall, thanks to Ms. Parker's efforts, I've been able to continue to attend choir and still feel safe despite the pandemic. Moving forward in the school year, I’m looking forward to future projects in store.

Contributed by Dominic P, Grade 11 Student