The Masked Singers


Jillian Parks

Choir has had to get creative when it comes to singing during an airborne pandemic. The Rhythm ‘n’ Blue show choir performed for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) on Sunday, December 6th, and the choir department will have a winter concert at Rob Fleming Park on Tuesday, December 8 at 6:00 pm. In addition, choir is participating in the 12 Days of Gratitude and community caroling to help spread holiday cheer. 

“I would say that creativity has probably been the most this year,” Kent Doerries said. “You know, the challenge is not can, but how do we do it? So it’s been having that mindset of, you know, we need to do this.” 

The choir schedule was readjusted by COVID in a few ways. First, their military salute for Veteran’s Day was a virtual event with pictures on a slideshow and the same staple songs as is characteristic of military salutes in past years. 

“You now what’s actually cool is Mr. Daw, principal at Knox, sent that to the whole Knox feeder, and then we had a student here who has a cousin in New York, and they showed the video at this military luncheon thing,” Doerries said. “It reached across the whole country, so that was neat how it spread out.” 

Additionally, their annual Pop Show was moved from the second semester to the first in order to keep things light and upbeat during this season of uncertainty. 

“I was excited when we started off with pop show because we needed a sense of familiarity, and although it was unorthodox to have pop show first, it was by far my most memorable concert,” senior Brianna Reed said. 

Spreading out more on their risers, reducing in-class contact games and activities, and even moving concerts outside has kept the department safe and creative.

“In choir we wear special choir masks that stick out to allow us to have better diction, take better breaths and more control of our sound,” senior Tiffany Stuard said. “We are spread out throughout the entire class room to social distance, so we are relying on each student’s individual efforts to have a good ensemble sound. Most of our choirs are incomplete too because we have online learners.”

Officers have also been getting creative with ways to keep the department intact during these circumstances. President Brianna Reed and Vice President Tiffany Stuard tackle these challenges both online and in person. 

“I’m so proud of our choir officers this year,” Stuard said. “This school year has been one of the hardest school years our officers have had to face. We have decorated the choir room for Halloween and Christmas, organized choir get-togethers for in-person and online learners, and kept our students engaged in our program.” 

The department directors Erin Bodhaine and Kent Doerries have also been working double time to keep online students engaged alongside the in-person learners. 

“Being virtual has affected the department. It’s more difficult because not everyone can learn at the same pace, and we’re each learning something new,” Reed said. “Change isn’t easy but it’s something we’ve learned to adapt to.”