CHS choir adapts to COVID-19

CHS choir adapts to COVID-19

Grace Cummings and Anthony Scarmack

As the long awaited 2020-2021 school year starts, both teachers and students are eager to return to routine. However, with the new COVID-19 precautions set in place, this has caused normal life to shift to something unconventional, especially for programs like choir. 

The Canfield High School Choral Music Department has been specifically affected by the pandemic. Questions regarding how the safety measures have changed rehearsals were answered by the choir director, Mr. Scurich, along with some of our very own choir students: Brianna Fishel, Lauren Jones, Olivia Knight, and Abby Stilson.

“I don’t think we’re getting a feel for each other’s sound as much and the way we’re going to sound this year because of the STUPID masks,” said Jones. “Someday, I think we’ll be at a point where there will be no masks.”

Canfield’s pristine competition streak may come to a halt because of the uncertain fate of the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) competitions. The dubiety of the situation concerns the choir students, but their spirits remain high.

“I also want to be able to go to competitions because it’s only my second year in One Octave Higher and since it’s my last year, I hope we’ll be able to go,” said Knight.

From Scurich’s perspective, the story is a little different. He addresses his concerns and opinions.

“The weeks before school were a challenge. We had to prepare for everything; all the optional, contextual situations, so I’m just pleased that everything is going positively and we want to keep it rolling,” said Scurich.

When asked how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the choir program, Scurich explained how, in the choir room, singing masks and social distancing are established to keep things going.

“When you’re spread out and when you have a mask on, it just isn’t optimal,” said Scurich. “Also, it’s difficult because I can’t actually see your mouth and your face to make adjustments with our technique.”

As of right now, the winter choir concert is up in the air. Scurich said he hopes to have a legitimate, normal concert but considers a virtual concert. He hopes things go back to normal in the coming years and that these precautions are only temporary. Because of COVID-19, the choir program has suffered a decline in participants since the 2020 Spring Concert was cancelled. He hopes the audience for the upcoming Dinner Theater show, Disney Spectacular, will attract many new students to join the concert choirs. Mr. Scurich does encourage any students that would like to join that can fit Concert Choir into their schedule for the second semester.

Also, make sure to follow the Instagram and Facebook page @canfieldchoirs to find out all of the fun things that they have planned for the school year.