Apopka Chorus’s Crazy COVID Times


During this compelling time at Apopka High School, different clubs and electives have had to modernize their ways in order to follow COVID guidelines while continuing to have fun. This year with Chorus concerts and other events, this elective has had to change their ways on how they construct their performances.The Blue and White has dived in to get more information from the chorus teacher behind it all.

                   Sandra Shafer, Chorus Teacher

The ways Chorus has changed from last year to this year are very different. Sandra Shafer, the Chorus teacher at Apopka, responded to this topic by saying “The biggest difference is following social distancing guidelines and singing with a mask! Masked singing has been a huge adjustment for our singers. Our students last year would socially distance in rehearsal before social distancing was cool, but now with many of our students at home, there are less people in the classroom to sing with which makes it difficult to balance harmonies and really ensure that everyone is together.” She proceeded to talk about any new activities that have been put in replace of older ones, to help follow social distancing rules, “I haven’t been able to create any new activities to replace any old ones. We are still able to have rehearsals, but, the big part of our rehearsing is to perform for an audience. Currently, we are unable to do that, so we improvised and put together a digital/virtual performance that aired on YouTube. We are hoping that we will be able to do live performances again soon!” We also asked about the positive effect of COVID and if there were any new things she enjoys. “While it’s more ‘work’ to grade, I am enjoying getting to hear my students individually more often. They are having to record themselves singing their music we are learning in class and they receive feedback that will help them fine tune their vocal technique.”

Next we followed up by interviewing a chorus student of three years, Jordyn David who’s a junior at Apopka, about her experiences. She talked about the main difference between last year and this year saying, “In the classroom, we’ve always stood right next to each other so we can blend better, now we can’t and it’s a lot harder to learn what we’re singing. We also can’t look at each other to match vowels like we could before. Outside of the classroom, we can’t meet to rehearse and get more things done.” We also asked a similar question to Ms.Shafer about the Chorus concerts. Jordyn responded, “For concerts we no longer have an audience. We also cannot perform on the stage as we would be too close together. This means we are now all spread out across the auditorium (where the audience would sit). Our classes can’t meet together with other classes for concerts. Normally the other choirs get to watch, but now we have to have an individual recording per class.” Lastly, we questioned how she would compare this year’s Chorus to the previous years and she said, “It’s harder, we are doing the best we can with what we have but sometimes it’s just not enough.”

Last Year’s Chorus (Pre-COVID)

This Year’s Chorus

Photo Credit: Sandra Shafer’s Youtube, 2020 Fall Chorus Concert

Overall the Chorus program is clearly trying their best to continue putting on shows for people to enjoy, and although it has various difficulties they have managed to work them out. Many other electives are in the same position as Chorus, but they still bring lots of joy to the students who are able to participate.