Show choir brings Christmas cheer from a distance


Keyla Holmes, Reporter

Jingle bells, masks for sale? While Covid has impacted people in many ways, the holiday season has been heavily affected. Many aren’t able to visit and gather with their families, travel, or enjoy their favorite show choir performances. This show choir holiday season, like the rest of the world, has faced many challenges and has had to improvise in spreading holiday cheer with all our favorite seasonal songs.

Because show choir involves singing and dancing with others, many changes have been necessary in order to accommodate social distancing so that everyone is as safe as possible while enjoying themselves. One of the many major changes show choir has made this season is that everyone stays in one spot while performing. 

“In a typical year, each performance consists of several line changes, partner work, and different formations,” senior show choir member Kate Bishop said. “However, we cannot do this when social distancing.” 

The safety of show choir members and those in the audience is prioritized. Due to the importance of maintaining the wellbeing of those involved in show choir, and those wanting to enjoy “Carol of the Bells,” each student has a taped off space that they must dance in for each song. Therefore, partner work isn’t a safe option. 

“Since we can’t do partner work by touching, we kind of do a little miming of dancing together with a partner,” show choir member sophomore Olivia Gibson said.

Although the changes this holiday season have been necessary, they still have been difficult and disappointing. Not being able to dance and sing with others has been specifically challenging for members when that is what show choir has been all about for years. While we all have experienced the disappointment of altering our ways this holiday season, show choir has faced their own difficulties in making changes. 

“It’s been a hard adjustment to rehearse in boxes and to not be able to perform in front of a live audience,” senior Kate Bishop said. “Performing in front of a live audience is exciting and a little nerve-racking, yet we are not able to experience these emotions by recording our dances.”

 Along with the difficult adjustments of rehearsals and performances, the overall excitement that the holiday season brought when preparing for these songs and routines has naturally shifted as well. 

“We haven’t really been able to bond with one another due to Covid,” Gibson said. “It feels frustrating. I know it’s for our safety but it really zaps the fun out of show choir.” 

In addition to the many alterations and challenges, these changes have proposed, wearing masks while singing and dancing has been a bit of a struggle. 

“Singing and dancing in masks has been a difficult adjustment,” Bishop said. “It sharply increases the physical difficulty of show choir. In show choir, facial expressions are very important to grasp the audience’s attention. However, with masks, we have been challenged to think of new ways to capture and obtain an audience’s attention.” 

A large part of what makes show choir what it is, is the ability to perform for an audience. Normally schools, nursing homes, and other activity centers are visited during the holiday season, in which show choir members perform their pieces for people of all ages. Due to Covid, these in-person and highly interactive performances just weren’t possible this holiday season. The performances that show choir prepared were recorded and sent out to all feeder schools and centers instead. 

“In the videos, we still try to interact with the camera, to make it seem as though we are there interacting with the crowd,” Gibson said.

Many pieces that are traditional, in terms of the way that they are performed were altered this year.

“We have rechoreographed several of our traditional show choir pieces we perform every year during this holiday season,” choir director Kay Owens said.

Every year the show choir performs their Dinner Theater show as well as Pops. While Dinner Theater will not be occurring this holiday season, the hope for Pops due to its significance for seniors is still a possibility. 

“This year has been especially difficult for us seniors, and we are hoping that Pops will happen in some form,” Bishop said. “Pops usually happens in late February, so we haven’t really decided what Pops will look like this year.”

“We are very hopeful that Pops concert will happen this year even though it may be later in the semester than normal,” Owens said.

Though this holiday season has put forth its own challenges due to the global circumstance of a pandemic, many of us are finding unique ways to start new traditions and to reminisce on our old ways and our now outdated perception of “normal.” Show choir had many special traditions, especially for their seniors. 

“The first night of Dinner Theater, a few hours before the show, seniors sit on the stage and are able to reflect on their past dinner theaters and share their favorite show choir memories,” Bishop said. “This is such a special time for seniors, and it gives them a moment to prepare for their last dinner theater performances.” 

Even though some traditions are not possible this holiday season, we may still admire these distant memories from afar – six feet to be exact.