WEST ORANGE, NJ — Get ready to be uplifted as chorus West Orange students and staff from sixth through 12th grades present “Inspirational Voices: A West Orange Choral Festival,” debuting virtually on the www.woboe.org YouTube channel on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m.
Music/chorus teachers Bonnie Pomeroy from Edison Middle School, Craig Sanphy from Liberty Middle School, Colleen Martin from Roosevelt Middle School, and John Hellyer and William Farley from West Orange High School discussed the upcoming virtual concert.
“One good thing that has come out of the pandemic is that the five of us have worked together more and gotten to know one another better. The situation necessitated resource sharing,” Hellyer said, adding that, as a result, the group decided that without actual chorus concerts this winter they would do a showcase that included grades six through 12. “We wanted to make it an inspirational concert that would lift people up.”
In addition to performances from the various choirs at the four schools, look for two special songs, one featuring the musical stylings of Superintendent of Schools Scott Cascone backed by the tenor/bass choir, and the closing number that partners the music teachers with the honors chamber choir.
“My goal when I began working in the district was to supercharge the relationship between Liberty and the high school,” Sanphy said. “It’s been challenging to figure out the balance between ‘being in school’ and trying out new ways to work with our students. The most important thing I want for the students is keep them loving music.”
“My goal is to keep them singing,” added Pomeroy.
“Performance is as important as learning and the majority of kids are enthusiastic,” Hellyer said.
Check the school district website on Feb. 25 for the concert link, which can be viewed any time once the concert debuts at 7 p.m.