MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX) — Meet the Madrigals, one of five Mountain View High School choirs that continue to practice after the shelter-in-place closed their campus in March.
Music teacher Jill Denny looks forward to their Zoom meetings.
“It’s actually emotional because I miss them so much that it gets me choked up each time I see them,” Denny said.
The weekly classes bring routine and connection — a comfort when life sheltered at home feels nothing like normal.
“It’s a sense of community, a sense of bonding and we know that, no matter what, we’ve got each other there and we’re all singing together,” said choir leader Anya McClatchie.
Sophomore Caitlin Devenney added, “music helps us connect on a deeper level because, when you’re part of a choir, you’re part of something bigger than yourself.”
“It’s just a chance to do something that makes me feel happy,” said fellow vocalist Logan Winn.
“Not being able to be with them my senior year is really sad but I can still see their faces,” choir member Allysa Johnson smiled.
The Madrigals completed most of the 60 to 80 local performances on their schedule but, when the pandemic canceled their trip to New Zealand in April, they learned a life lesson.
“I’m not going to complain because it’s a privilege in the first place but it was a little bit of a shock,” said senior Matteo Gobry.
Denny said the choirs are learning about being resilient.
“We have no idea what’s going to come our way and the challenges that we face don’t define us. It’s how we react to them,” she said.
Sophomore Emmanuel Leblond said, “take everything one step at a time, one day at a time. That’s really how you’re going to make it.”
The choirs usually have a final performance at the end of the school year but, this year, Denny is creating a video from her home.
All 150 students can’t sing in sync over live videoconferencing because of latency issues so they’re sending Denny their individual recordings and she is editing all the voices together although she admits she’s just learning how to use professional editing software.
She asks for expert advice and relies on online tutorials and hopes to releas the final performances via video link on May 24.
She’s determined that everyone finishes on a high note.
“Every voice counts,” Denny said. “We are only strong when everyone is with us.”