Covid makes choir senior year fall flat

Singing, and choir specifically, is an outlet and a passion of so many people at WHHS, and it has impacted their lives greatly. 


This year has proven to be a challenging time for everyone, especially for the class of 2021 who have missed out on so many senior class traditions.  But, there are some who choose to stay positive in this trying time.


“[Choir has] brought me so much joy. When I’m singing [family and friends] are like ‘can you just be quiet?’ but, I can’t, it’s a part of me now,” SENIOR Trevor Gutu said.  


Students involved in choir have been stripped of their passion, as COVID-19 has put a lot of performing arts on hold. It has taken even more away from seniors this year because they can’t experience a normal, final year at WHHS, and most likely will not have a normal graduation either.


“I would love to be able to walk across the stage and see all the teachers one last time but I don’t know, I guess we’ll see,” Gutu said.


Though 2020 has been anything but a typical year, most seniors hope to get to see all of their classmates, teachers and friends at least one more time at graduation before they move on to bigger things. 


“I don’t think it’s going to be a full fledged graduation like we’ve been used to in the past. It’s so close but so far in the future, I don’t want to get my hopes up to just be disappointed,” Gutu said. 


It is discouraging to see almost every single other senior class graduate with a big ceremony, dances and final moments with their friends and teachers, knowing the class of 2021 will not experience what those before them have. 


Singing is something that so many people enjoy universally, whether it be singing professionally, enjoying your favorite song in the car or going to your favorite band’s concert, WHHS’s choir senior class carries those memories with them as they get ready to graduate.


“Singing has been something that I’ve enjoyed since I was little. I used to sing in my church’s choir and sing in choir in middle school. It really gave me an opportunity to express myself and has also helped me meet a lot of different people,” SENIOR Kayla Jackson said.


Singing opens up opportunities to meet amazing people who love the same things you do. Singing with others also gives people a place to escape to, somewhere where they love what they’re doing, and love doing it with other people.


“I just remember if I would be having a bad day before going to choir, I would just remember going into the choir room and just automatically, as soon as we started warm ups I would just feel better. Singing just makes me feel like a better person and I’m glad that one has given me that outlet,” SENIOR Sarah Minning said. 


Choir has given so many students an outlet for their passions, emotions, and stress.


“It’s just given me another aspect of life to turn to. If something I’m doing is way too stressful way too overwhelming, music is always just something I can fall back on,” SENIOR Gabe Donnelly said.


Singing and more specifically singing with other people helps people gain confidence and is a way to relieve the stress of school.


Even if some seniors decide to pursue a career in singing and others don’t, the memories and their passion will always stay with them. 


“Choir at Walnut has completely changed who I am,” Donnelly said, “It’s helped me figure out what I want in life. Even though I don’t want to go into singing or performing, I just love that sense of being in that group and singing together and creating music. I can’t really imagine not doing it in the future.”


When hobbies you love turn into a passion, it’s hard to ever let them go, even if it’s not what you want to pursue. However, the time and effort put into choir rehearsals is always worth it in the end.

“It’s just given me another aspect of life to turn to. If something I’m doing is way too stressful way too overwhelming, music is always just something I can fall back on.””

— SENIOR Gabe Donnelly

“Such a magical thing about it for me, is like, we have this song that we’re all working towards, and we sing and we hear everybody’s voices around us. And that makes this one piece of art that we all enjoy. We haven’t gotten that this year and it’s annoying because I’ve had it every year. And then my last year, that I was looking forward to, was snatched away,” Donnelly said.


Many people struggle with mental health and being overwhelmed with everyday stressors, choir is some of these peoples’ run away from these things. Being able to get through it to see brighter days shows how strong of a person you are.


 “Being able to live with my anxiety disorder [has] caused me a lot of pain and a really long struggle for a large portion of my life,” Donnelly said, “And I’m on the tail end of it now. It was actually last year, when I finally became comfortable being myself and comfortable dealing with what goes on in my head. Partially because of Urinetown and I was in Doll’s House afterwards. That’s for theater and choir at the time as well. We were singing Brahms Requiem. It helps me get through a lot.”


Stripped of their final year full of opportunities they might never experience, seniors still continue to look forward to graduation, regardless of how it might look, and hope to be remembered for something other than a COVID-ridden senior year.


“One major thing just to pass on is, no matter what’s going on in your brain, no matter what it’s telling you, it’s always okay to talk about it,” Donnelly said, “And the main thing that will help you in life is finding those people finding the communities that allow you to voice what’s going on in your head. Even like how hard it might be. And that’s one thing that choir is.”