High School Choirs Find New Ways to Keep Singing Together

Nov 04, 2020

on air_d

Frisco ISD high school choral students and their directors are excited to virtually broadcast a fine arts collaborative concert for the community entitled “Woven,” which will live stream online on Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m. 

The district-wide virtual collaboration of choral directors and students from all 10 high school campuses is the first of its kind in the District and has taken a considerable amount of planning.

“This is the first time we have ever done anything like this and it is an example of how the creativity of the fine arts program is shining through during the parameters provided by the pandemic,” said Rob Draper, fine arts coordinator for vocal music.

Over the summer, when it became evident that choirs would not be operating in the manner in which they were all accustomed, the FISD high school choir curriculum team started to brainstorm. The team, including Nick La Rocca, Stephanie Keen, Rachel Massey and Mike Buntyn, were determined to turn the COVID-19 setback into an opportunity for all of the choral students in Frisco ISD. 

Their vision for a district-wide virtual choral event began to take shape when choir directors and students began working diligently this fall to learn five songs in preparation for the concert.

The directors worked in conjunction with a collaborative musician’s network called Trekorda that provided sheet music, learning tracks and conductor videos to support both face-to-face and virtual learners.  

Each individual choir student has submitted audio recordings of their performances and the directors, working in teams of two, are assembling the final performances from these student recordings. Directors are also assembling images submitted by the students so the audience will be able to put faces to the singing that is presented.

“It’s so important that these students have an opportunity to make music together following what was an abrupt ending to their communal singing last spring,” said LaRocca, the choir team lead.  

“For many of these kids, singing together is what brings them to school and what motivates them to do well in their classes, and without that anchor some of our students were lost. Getting to make music together will never be something that they take for granted in the future.” 

Frisco ISD is excited to share the musicality of both virtual and in-person students during this unique production. This collaborative effort is a true reflection of the “Stronger Together” theme that District staff have embraced this school year.

“We are very proud of our choral directors and how they’ve worked collaboratively to turn a challenge into a success,” Draper said. “We have tremendous choral music educators and seeing the passion and dedication they have for their students is inspirational.

“I can’t wait to see the final result of all of their effort and energy on display!”

Watch the Concert 

Click here to watch the broadcast from Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m.

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