Orchestra spreads holiday spirit virtually

With COVID restrictions, the NPHS orchestra has had to make the switch to online learning and for their winter concert, they were 100 percent virtual. Students had to take videos of themselves playing their instruments and edit them to match the rest of their group, in order to create a seamless concert as if it was live. 

Ariela Behar, freshman, plays the cello in the NPHS orchestra and this is her second concert, the first of which was done virtually as well. “When we put it together you can’t tell that we filmed it separately. It really sounds professional and we’re all really proud of what we’ve done,” Behar said. 

Since it was a winter concert, students played a variety of holiday themed songs ranging from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to “Carol of the Bells.” To play these songs, students broke up into groups of three or four and recorded themselves to later edit the recordings with each other. This was a testament to orchestra students’ timing skills, as they had to get everything right in order to have the recordings align correctly. 

Charly Taylor, a freshman that plays the violin, feels that the virtual concerts made her focus more on her skills and be more responsible. “It’s a lot more personal and you have to be good with every single note because it’s not live…and when the person is editing it together, you have to be on time and match up with everyone else. And it’s up to you because there’s not going to be a conductor telling you. So I think it forces everyone to really practice and I think it makes people more involved in a way,” Taylor said.

Even though students enjoyed the experience of having a virtual concert, they would much rather be playing together and in person. Ananya Jonnalagadda, a freshman who played in a performance of “Carol of the Bells,” said, “This was a very new thing, so it was very exciting for us to try and see how it turns out, but I do miss in person concerts because it involves more interaction, and playing together with a whole string orchestra.”

While this year’s concert was very different from previous years, the students enjoyed having a virtual winter concert, and being able to participate in the joy of the holidays from the comfort of their own home. “When the live stream for the virtual concerts come, it’s very exciting and turns out [to be] very enjoyable,” Jonnalagadda said.


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