When schools closed back in March, many of the extracurriculars, like choir, were also put on hold. For Hart High School’s show choir, this came right in the middle of their competition season, “which was a total bummer for the kids,” said Sarah Anders, show choir director.
Since then, Anders has done what she can to keep her students engaged, primarily using Flipgrid, a free site students can sign up for using just their email address.
“I’ve given them solo-song assignments to learn any song that speaks to them in some way … just to keep them creative and keep them inspired,” she said. “Then we get on Zoom twice a week … as a way to share music with one another.”
Though video chats aren’t up to par with making music in groups, as there is so much lag time, it gives students the opportunity to check in and connect with one another, she added.
Though the future is still uncertain, it was soon time for Anders to begin planning for the next year and auditioning for the new school year.
“It’s such a weird time, (but we) have to think about next year in the hopes that things will be at least on their way back to normal, so we had to get super creative about the way we’re going to do auditions,” Anders said.
While the normal audition process is typically a week long, with vocal, choreography and musicianship auditions, they had to get creative in finding new ways to not only hold auditions, but also to advertise them.
“Typically, they would sing at the local junior highs and pass out flyers to physically recruit new members,” show choir parent Amanda Howell said via email. “So, one of our students put together this video in hopes that we could recruit members to participate in our virtual auditions.”
For auditions this year, students will instead be submitting two video auditions, Anders said. In the first, they’ll follow a step-by-step tutorial video to learn the choreography, and in the second, pick a song they love to sing that they think shows off their vocal range.
A Zoom meeting is scheduled 4 p.m. on Monday, May 4, with Anders to answer any questions auditioners may have.
Auditions are due to either Flipgrid at flipgrid.com/hschoirauditions2021, Google Drive at bit.ly/HartChoirAuditions or directly to Anders’ email at [email protected] by Friday, May 8, with results set to be released by May 15.
Examples and more information on the audition process can be found by visiting hartchoir.com.