The 2020-2021 MHMS 6th, 7th, & 8th Grade Virtual Choir

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 12:01pm

From Mr. Burrows:  

All of the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students from the 2020-2021 MHMS choirs performed Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" (arranged & produced by Reuben Burrows) together as a massive unified "virtual choir."
The Covid-19 pandemic abruptly forced students all over the world to stay home and engage in "virtual learning" without any real preparation or warning as schools were shut down worldwide. Our lives were all upended. All of us - students, teachers, parents, etc - endured varying combinations of emotional, mental, and physical hardships as we collectively struggled to navigate through the uncertain and unprecedented times.
For many students, music and arts classes are their refuge and sanctuary; their place of safety, where they can always comfortably be themselves; the place they go for emotional & creative release while growing and learning about themselves and the world around them.
The pandemic forced all of us to learn and try to figure out how best to recreate that in a virtual setting.
And, we did.
After arranging the song for my students in SSAB + solo voicing, everyone learned their parts (sometimes multiple parts). The students then learned how to do all their own recordings using their own devices (often provided by the county school system). While in isolation, they worked together by listening to one another's recordings and providing feedback. Afterward, I taught them how to do their own edits. They spent hours, days, and months perfecting their work and the work of their peers - and, they did all of it without ever using autotuning. The last part was the video. After discussing the lyrical content and potential meanings/interpretations within the song, we discussed how we could relate them to our personal experience. The students helped create a story-board/outline for a video to, in effect, tell the story of 2020/2021.
These incredible 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choir students did an absolutely remarkable job, and we hope you find this powerful video, set to their stirring virtual performance, as inspiring as we all felt creating it.