Group choir is one of the most dangerous activities to do during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an article from the Los Angeles Times. The Cedar Rapids Community School District has struggled to find a solution that allows their high school performers to stay safe on stage.
Happiness INC., Kennedy High School’s varsity show choir, has changed its schedule to compensate for COVID-19. According to Storm Ziegler, members of the group are frustrated about the new routine and the possible cancellation of the competitive season.
“It’s frustrating not to be able to do what they always do, knowing that there is not going to be a competition season,” Zielger said. “Mentally, helping kids understand that they can still get a lot out of the process even if there is not a big competition at the end of it is probably the biggest challenge.”
Returning members can compare the 2020-2021 show choir experience to previous years, but first-time members cannot. Ziegler is concerned that they won’t return the following school year and wants them to stick with the team.
“My goal has been to produce as close to a normal show choir experience as we possibly can,” Ziegler said. “Kids signed up for show choir expecting a particular thing. I think that we owe it to kids to give them what they signed up for.”
During practices, performers are required to wear masks and social distance, even during lunch breaks.
Kira DeBrower, a senior in Happiness INC., is concerned about the season, like many others.
“I feel like it’s a lot of effort being put into something that isn’t going to actually happen because we can’t perform or compete,” DeBrower said. “I just don’t like that it feels like we’re trying to avoid the inevitable.”
Other members, like Raegan Zachman, sr., are still trying to make show choir as enjoyable and normal as possible. She is planning on hosting a Halloween party for the whole group as well as planning other small bonding events throughout the year.
“The smaller bonding events will be things like game nights. We can split up into different houses,” Zachman said.
“At the Halloween party, social distancing will be observed, and when not eating or drinking, masks will be required,” Zachman states. “Masks will be required at every bonding event.”
Despite the stresses introduced by COVID-19, DeBrower and her fellow members are trying to remain positive.
“Happiness is overall really positive about all of this,” DeBrower said. “I think most of us come to Happiness because we get to see our friends and socialize, so everyone is pretty content with that.”