Chorus hopes to keep holiday spirit alive


West Shore Yearbook

Chorus students perform during a faculty meeting in the media center on Dec. 12, 2019.

Chorus classes prepare for the holidays to celebrate the end of the first semester. At this time of year, chorus classes typically would be preparing for the winter concert, but due to COVID-19 and strict guidelines, the winter holiday show has been canceled. Temporary director Melanie Richardson plans to combat the loss of that traditional performance by picking out Christmas carols for students to perform for the school’s front-office staff.       

“I enjoy Christmas, so not having a concert this year definitely shocked me,” sophomore Mitchell Cooper said.”I know COVID-19 is the main factor that we don’t have a concert this year, and we can’t sing because of that, but at least we get to sing certain Christmas songs because we have not sung all year.” 

Richardson said she wanted her students to enjoy chorus festivities as much as she did when she attend West Shore. 

“Since it is around the holidays and I love Christmas carols, I always thought they were fun when I went it here, so I wanted to continue the tradition,” Richardson said.” In chorus, [director Amy] Davis taught them to us, and I had a great time. The other nice thing about Christmas carols is it reinforces a lot of listening skills with the different harmonies, especially since many of these carols are the ones students, me included, grew up listening to. These songs are so so engraved in your memory, and then if you are told we are going to sing this song, but you can’t sing the melody, it becomes a whole new experience. 

Richardson’s idea to sing Christmas carols is still a work in progress because she has not planned where the students will perform and if the office personnel will be able to hear them perform. 

“We are allowed to hum inside,” Richardson said.” With the good piano in the classroom, we learn them by humming inside. Then once they’re solid on that, we will move outside. I am working on getting an extension cord to connect the music out, and if I need to, I will bring a keyboard outside.”

Students in chorus received a list of 50-plus Christmas songs, and for each chorus level. They will select the top 10 songs. 

“The best part about Christmas is the songs that come from the holiday,” Cooper said.”I have thought about the Christmas songs that we will sing, and I hope that ‘Jingle Bells’ or ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ get picked. I’m excited to see how the performance will turn out.

Still, Cooper said, this holiday season won’t be quite the same.

“Singing with our masks is pretty annoying,” he said. “But I will make it through.” 

By Mackenzie Sullivan