Choir Classes During the Pandemic

Emily Cox

One year ago, on March 12 of 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer decided to shut schools down because of covid. Many sports and extracurricular activities were then canceled. 

One thing a lot of people were upset about was not being able to have a concert for choir and doing all of the fun activities.

 “I missed out on the musicals and choir holidays and a lot of the things that make choir one of the best classes apart from singing,” said Chantelle Spicer, ‘21. 

“Something I was looking forward to was probably just performing live and not recording,” said Norah Gregerson ‘24. Before the pandemic, choir classes were fun for almost everyone. 

There were holiday parties with lots of food. For example, during Halloween, students would watch scary movies like Nightmare before Christmas and eat candy. During Thanksgiving, students would do a huge potluck where people would sign up to bring in a dish and students would sit in a circle and talk about all of the things they are thankful for. 

During Christmas there would be another potluck and a gift exchange. For the last party at the end of the year, there was a final potluck and students would write down next year predictions of what we think would happen in the school, and say their goodbyes to the seniors. Mainly all of the parties were a great way to bond with everyone. 

 Students also bonded by doing many group activities like playing Jenga, and even singing close together which many people thought was fun because it sounded really cool and loud. There was a team building hula hoop pass; students also painted cubbies. For example, in 2019 Cassie Cox, who graduated last year, painted a sunflower along with a quote and her name in her cubby. Most of the cubbies have stayed the original paintings to honor the past seniors who originally painted them.  

While parents and other students may be concerned about the spread of Covid in choir class where students are projecting, Denise Beauchamp, the choir director, has done a lot to mitigate the virus. 

“She had us on Zoom to keep us safe and she also has our chairs spaced apart so we aren’t so close together,” said Spicer.

Beauchamp expands on how she continues to keep her choir students safe and healthy. 

 “Our rehearsals look different because we’re all wearing masks and rehearsing in different places throughout the performing arts wing of the building,” said Beauchamp.  She also said students are also much more spread out than they’re used to, so it’s been quite an adjustment for everyone. 

“That being said, I couldn’t be more proud of every single choir student this year with the way they have embraced the new challenges that have been thrown our way,” said Beauchamp. 

The choir classes have a much stronger bond than other classes have. Everyone gets along and they seem to be like a big family. Covid has tried to mess things up for the choir classes, such as canceling performances, musicals, and many of the family gatherings and holiday parties. Beauchamp, like most teachers, has always found a way to make do this year. 

Many families have liked the virtual showcases better because there are people who are high risk or would prefer to just be safe. Also, a few of the girls like the fact that there are fewer mistakes during virtual performances than there would be for a live performance.

 “I am glad the virtual showcases have worked and they have worked better than I thought they would. I think I enjoy the fact that my family doesn’t have to watch me live and with the virtual concerts there are less mistakes because you are recording it and not moving around the stage,” said Gregerson. 

Many of the freshmen’s high school choir experiences have been much different than what it would have been before the pandemic. They didn’t get to be a part of family “dinners,” in-person gift exchange, and even many of the bonding activities. 

“My experience was scary at first because I didn’t know how big of a difference it was going to be from middle school or not and I actually felt really welcome by the girls. I missed out on fun activities like more bonding with the girls and trips to different places we would normally go sing at, and definitely the Disney trip and being able to go out and connect more with everyone,” said Gabrielle Northern ‘24. 

Classmate Ashley Fisher, expands on how she feels about choir this year, and speaks on how her other classmates may be feeling as well.

“It was exciting but also kind of sad at the same time, exciting to start something new and be welcomed into a family, but sad because reality hit and I knew that we would never get to have a normal experience,” said Ashley Fisher ‘24. 

“This year I actually got to come into the school and get in that social aspect that a lot of people need where last year I was basically stuck in my house alot and last year the schools didn’t really have a plan nor were they prepared for online. So, it was all a mess but they tried really hard to be as helpful as possible, even if its been a bit of a struggle,” said Spicer. 

Overall, choir during the pandemic has been a struggle but also has been very fun for the most part. 

“My first year of highschool choir has been really good, everyone is very nice and helpful. And being a freshman this year the upperclassmen in my choir class have helped explain where classes are. I love how choir is a safe place and we all get along,” said Gregerson. 

Many choir students recommend being in choir because it is just a calm and fun class to be in. No matter how different you are from others, what you like, or who you hang out with, choir strives to be a judgment free zone.