Choir Holds Fall Concert

The theatre stage lights dimmed and focused on the stage. The once-chattering audience turned quiet as soon as the choir students walked and climbed the risers along with their director. The choir director motioned one big smile before taking a deep breath.

On September 29, choir had its first concert at the Main Stage Theatre while practicing safe COVID protocols after a year and a half of virtual singing. The students were filled with excitement to finally perform on the stage.

Director Nathan McCarty has been teaching choir for about 16 years. While he believed the upcoming sophomores would be a little nervous, he noted that this year students are much more excited to perform compared to previous years.

“A lot of students are hungrier to learn this year because we have not been able to do choir for a year of asynchronous activity,” McCarty said.

Choir president Melvin Amaya is thrilled to be back on the stage as well. He has been in the choir since his first term of the first year and he said this concert will be a memorable one.

“Some of my best memories have come here on this stage,” Amaya said.

Varsity choir member Juan Lopez anticipates that the newer students would be nervous due to the lack of experience. Since last year was virtual, they would have a challenging time fitting in this year. But he said it will be a fun experience for everyone.

“… [With] a year of isolation and not really being without the proper experience that one would have if you were in school, I said it can be pretty nerve-wracking if you’re new,” Lopez said.

Compared to previous years, Vice President Tony Nguyen thinks that the biggest change has been the pace. Instead of the usual fast-paced tempo, this year has been slow. “The biggest change honestly has been the pace,” Nguyen said. “…it would make sense because we’re trying to ease back into things, but usually in other choirs, it would just be straight to the music. We do a lot of songs, but now we are kind of just doing it. We are just taking it to step by step. It’s a little slower, but we’re getting there.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Safe COVID Protocols were in place during the concert. There was a gap between each group of people to maintain safe social distancing. Hand sanitizers were provided at the front.

“So instead of having the full theater being filled up, COVID protocols have sought that we can only have 50 percent of the entire theater capacity, so that would cut the number from 400 to 200 people,” Nguyen added.

Additionally, this year, choir members were encouraged to practice safe COVID protocols by wearing masks and maintaining distance from each other.

“I think concerts in general are really fun ’cause you have to like be with your friends and have fun singing…” varsity choir student An Dinh said.

Dinh was even more pumped to get back to singing with her friends and just having fun on stage. She especially looked forward to performing “September” by the American band Earth, Wind & Fire. Her class has been working hard on the songs and has been practicing daily.

“I feel that I’m just excited to get back on stage,” Amaya said. “Do what I enjoy.”