Brentsville’s Choir is Safely Performing in an Oratorio


Handel’s Messiah

Thomas Hennessy

Every year, Brentsville’s Vocal Ensemble performs in Handel’s “Messiah”. Messiah is an Oratorio that is performed at Osbourne Park High School. An Oratorio is a large choral and orchestral work. But with the pandemic limiting contact it makes it difficult for the singers to rehears any music for Messiah. However, Vocal Ensemble found a way to rehears.

Brentsville’s choir instructor, Ms. Pulos, was asked how the singers have been practicing. She answered with, “The singers have been practicing with practice guide tracks. Singers listen to a professional sing or play their part, and then they sing along as they read their music, as well as employing many other practice techniques.” Other Vocal Ensemble singers agree that this is one of the best ways to practice on your own.

The “real time” feedback and correction that happens in an in-person rehearsal is not there. ”

— Ms. Pulos

Although they have been able to manage there have been struggles, “The biggest struggle we have had with rehearsing over Zoom is the inability to hear multiple singers at the same time. The “real time” feedback and correction that happens in an in-person rehearsal is not there.” Without being able to hear them together Ms. Pulos does not know what they need to correct as a group.

Anna Monfort is a junior who I had asked what her biggest struggle as a singer was. She responded with, “It is hard to know what you are doing right and wrong if there is no-one there to correct you.” Anna has found a way to help herself, however. She found that recording herself helps her figure out what she needs to improve on.

With the pandemic they cannot practice in-person or even perform in person. However, Ms. Pulos explained how they will perform Messiah, she said, “The selections from Messiah will be performed virtually this year. Students will record themselves singing their individual voice parts for the movements “And the Glory of the Lord,” “For Unto Us a Child is Born,” and the famous “Hallelujah” chorus. After student recordings are submitted, the directors from Osbourn Park, Patriot, and I will be editing and combining the tracks together for a virtual choir experience.” By putting the different parts together, it gives it the effect that you are listening to the choir in-person.

So, Vocal Ensemble will be preforming virtually and with recordings instead of being there in-person and risking the safety of the singers.