Byram Hills District choral teachers met with the Director of Fine Arts, Mr. Deepak Marwah, on ways to connect with the community through music during the pandemic. “Students had recently performed in the District Choral Festival with great spirit and success, therefore, we decided to coordinate a similar all-inclusive choral virtual performance,” said Mr. Marwah.
The student response was overwhelmingly high. Fifth-grader Brett Kaplan said, “This project was special to me because it felt like we were all together again, singing the song that everyone loved and practiced for so long.”
The project was compiled and edited by Brian Melso of the District’s Media Center and featured 44 individual videos submitted by students that delivered an inspiring and timely message.
“We chose the song ‘Stand Together’ by Jim Papoulis for its message of unity,” said Dana Celestino, Wampus chorus teacher.
“We had no idea it would become an anthem for our community during COVID-19,” said Jonah Piali, Byram Hills High School Choir Director. “The text expresses the powerful belief that when we are united together with one voice, our potential for greatness is stronger than when we stand alone.”
High school senior Alex Dempsey shared, “Being able to sing about the power of community and togetherness, while also being present with my own community, helped me feel optimistic.”
“Nothing feeds the soul like the joy of making music,” said Kate Smith, H.C. Crittenden chorus teacher. “We continue to find ways to support one another to make beautiful music, and look forward to the days when we can be together again.”
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