The Maple Ridge Secondary School Choral Department has released a virtual choir concert called True North.
True North features four of the school’s choral ensembles: Crescente Concert Choir, Aurora Concert Choir, Silva Vocal Ensemble, and the Choir Graduates of 2021.
Pieces performed include a mix of North American composers and their music including: O Canada; The Royal Hudson by David Baker and Larry Nickel; Woodsmoke and Oranges by Ian Tamblyn and Rebecca Campbell; Sing Me to Heaven by Daniel Gawthrop; Northwest Passage by Stan Rogers and Ron Smail; and Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen.
Ensembles range from 10 – 50 singers at a time and pieces also include solos by Sara Cathcart, Violet Seaman, Grace Hamilton, Aysha Maas, and Danea Mason, and piano accompaniment by Cierra O’Connor.
“In the concert, we express our feelings about appreciation of home, sorrow and hope for reconciliation, and gratitude for the opportunity to shape a better tomorrow,” said MRSS choral director Claire Oliverio.
Last year in December the choirs released a virtual concert for Christmas called Home for the Holidays. Although for both concerts the choirs rehearsed on Zoom from 7-8 a.m. twice a week. They also recorded individually in the studio, singing with a mask on and worked on their individual videos.
This concert, though, presented an opportunity for the students to record media on an elevated platform, shared Oliverio.
”This season, we engaged in over a hundred individual video-recording sessions in front of a green screen, recording each student and each piece separately. In the final editing stages of the virtual performance, the green screen was edited to have every choir student “sing” side by side – even though we have not been able to sing together in over a year,” she explained.
Both Oliverio and graduating Grade 12 student Maxwell Goddard, whom Oliverio considers her “tech expert”, put the performances together for the concert.
“We are looking forward to sharing it with the community,” said Oliverio.
The concert was uploaded to YouTube Premiere at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 30, and is available to watch for free at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBJAapJ9r_s.
“In times of difficulty, the arts have provided an infinite light for us all. Maple Ridge should be very proud of their young visionaries – I know I am,” added the choral director.
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