Singing in COVID? ASW Successfully Holds Choir Festival

By Merry Ma

The choir festival, an annual ASW tradition, is an opportunity for people who love music to enjoy a day full of singing. This year it took place on September 29 and featured 30 participating students, ranging from 9 to 12th graders. They performed a total of 3 songs at two performances. 

The ASW choir, hard at work.

There were many obstacles to overcome and adjustments were made to meet safety standards in order for this event to even take place. Ms. Bechdoldt, the choir director, explained that “We had to look at the safety concerns first, and Mr. Sidaway and Mr. Zurfluh were really helpful with all of this and guided our safety decisions.” During the festival, students either sang indoors with masks or sang maskless outside, which makes it easier to sing. There was a small performance followed by a live-streamed concert at 5 pm, both outside. 

This choir festival allowed students to spend a full day singing songs which they love. Ms. Bechdoldt stated that “many students got to know each other better or made new friends, especially from other grades”. 

Maria K., an 11th-grade student who participated in the festival, said that “Choir festivals always have a great atmosphere since they are not competitive but rather collaborative.” 

“Even when there is a break, “ Maria added, “the music doesn’t stop, it actually gets louder. You will always find someone playing the piano or singing, it’s amazing.” 

Deirdre L., another 12th-grade student, said she “really enjoyed how we were able to take a day off of classes to just sing. Even though it was cold outside, it was still nice to have some feeling of being on a choir trip again.”

When comparing this event with previous choir festivals, Deirdre said, “The atmosphere in general felt different, probably because we were in our own school, which is not what we usually do for choir festivals.” 

“We miss traveling and meeting new people from around the World but it was great to be able to do something locally,” said Maria. Both of them expressed thankfulness for Ms. Bechdoldt’s efforts in finding a way for students to still sing and perform together. 

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