Student musicians across Shawnee Mission have found numerous innovative ways to share their tuneful talents during the pandemic. Here is one recent example from Shawnee Mission Northwest:
Unable to share musical cheer in their typical way this season, Shawnee Mission Northwest choirs have created virtual carols to send to nursing home residents and to individuals throughout the community.
The singers were used to participating in an event that gives back this time of year. In light of the pandemic, Choir Executive Board worked to find an alternative plan in the same spirit Lilliam Bowen, senior said. They came up with the “Caroling Project.”
“Although we couldn’t sing on a stage together, we have formed unity in every single class to produce music whether it be virtual or individually at home,” Bowen shared. “I feel as if this project, although difficult, will bring some of us together almost as if things are as normal as they can be.”
Creating the virtual carols took numerous steps.
First, director Cassie Banion and accompanist Nancy Hulett filmed conducting videos during WebEx classes so students could rehearse the timing of each song, down to each breath. Once fully rehearsed, students dressed up and filmed themselves singing their carols. While recording, students used the conducting video, listened to the accompaniment, and sheet music. Some used more than one digital device to record using all needed resources.
Meg Qualls, a student enrolled in video production with NW-KUGR and in choir, dedicated time to editing and syncing the videos.
“Hopefully we can bring some holiday joy to a few this winter,” Banion said.