by Ben Bengtson/North Shore News
The performance was cancelled, but their voices are still being heard.
Lending new credence to the phrase “the show must go on,” a group of
students from Carson Graham Secondary have joined up with students from
Orange County School of the Arts, a performing arts high school in
Santa Ana, Calif., for a virtual choir collaboration.
About 25 students from Carson and 25 from the Orange County school
have lent their voices and beaming expressions, from the comfort and
safety of their individual homes, to a rendition of composer Kyle
Pedersen’s epic about cope, compassion, mercy and unity on “Can We Sing
the Darkness to Light?”
The collaboration video was uploaded to YouTube last week.
Frank Lee, the choral director at Carson, led a cohort of more than
60 students from the North Vancouver school’s choir program to
California in March for several days of music and choir performances,
clinics and in-person collaborations with other U.S. high schools.
They group left B.C. on March 11, but by the time they touched down
in Anaheim, Calif., the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had already changed
everything, according to Lee.
“It was cancelled by the time we landed in Anaheim,” said Lee,
eluding to the State of California’s suspension of events due to new
physical distancing requirements. “We were all pretty disheartened.”
Soon after, the group touched back down in B.C. and a virtual
partnership was struck between the two schools that had originally
planned to perform together.
The virtual choir collaboration, of which the audio and video
technology was provided by and funded by the Orange County School of the
Arts, was recorded in April.
While the video doesn’t replace the brilliance of being together
live and in-person for a performance, it’s still a great attempt at
collaboration between two schools – from different countries – during a
challenging time, said Lee.
“This sentiment of connecting is amazing,” he said.