Lessons and Carols: Chamber Choir Marks the Return of In-Person Concerts With a Festive Display of Song

After almost two years of a pandemic that put most activities and gatherings on hold, the SHC community is returning to the production of live shows. Following the four-show performance of 1984 by the drama department, SHC choir is similarly stepping back on stage. On December 2nd, the Chamber Choir held its first post-pandemic and in-person performance. The audience at the Saints Peter and Paul Church experienced a spiritual medley of voice and instrument in the Lessons and Carols Show.

After two years of being online and not really being able to sing with each other in person, I think it was really great to get to perform with one another, to one another, and to an audience.

— Gavin Bermudez

Although the Chamber Choir performed the Lessons and Carols show last year, it was filmed and produced entirely online. In an interview with Mr. Michael Kerschner, the Director of Choral Music, he expressed, “It will be fun to watch last year’s video and compare, because [last year] everyone was recording their own part individually and we had to edit it all together. It’s an awkward, difficult process, so this was way better.” When asked about the experience of performing live again, student performers shared a similar opinion. Junior Gavin Bermudez commented, “after two years of being online and not really being able to sing with each other in person, I think it was really great to get to perform with one another, to one another, and to an audience.”

The theme of Lessons and Carols was actually recommended by Dr. Skrade. Mr. Kerschner explained how the show features “really beautiful Christmas music, and everyone loves Christmas music–the big difference is it’s sacred.” As we enter December, the choir performance provided a meaningful reflection and transition to the upcoming Christmas festivities. Kate Conti ‘22 added, “it was really special because for a lot of people it was their first introduction to the holiday season.” However, the SHC choir was not the only one to provide this experience. The Chamber Choir was joined by the Saints Peter and Paul’s children’s choir, alongside the melodies of harpists and violinists in the massive cathedral. According to junior Elizabeth Nelson, being able to sing with the children’s choir “made the experience that much more special.” The concert was an enthralling display of sacred song, with high-end lighting and Christmas decor, that captured the spirit and hope of the season. One audience member and lesson reader, senior Kaila Nobriga-Allen, said, “It was a really beautiful experience. It sounded very angelic in the church.”

All in all, the performance proved to be a successful and exciting first performance back. Looking ahead, the choir program has several upcoming shows and opportunities to continue performing live. “We are excited to do our Christmas concert this weekend, the 10th and 11th,” shares Mr. Kerschner. At this show, “You’ll get to hear all the choirs doing a really fun combination of Christmas, pop and classical music.” In the spring, there will be another performance that will feature music from animated cartoons, movies, and video games. Mr. Kerschner conveys, “I’m just excited that kids get to keep singing together and the audience gets to remember how exciting it is to attend a choir concert.”    

You can watch the full interview of Mr. Kerschner below