St. Helena Choral Society prepares July 23 virtual concert to end season

St. Helena Choral Society prepares July 23 virtual concert to end season

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on community choirs, but that isn’t stopping the St. Helena Choral Society from putting on a show.

The St. Helena Children’s Chorus and St. Helena Teen Choir are producing a virtual end-of-the-year celebration that will stream online at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 23.

Director Craig Bond said he especially wants to honor the high school seniors of the Teen Choir who never got a chance to participate in one last spring concert.

“We were all so disappointed,” said Bond, who made the call to cancel rehearsals and the spring concert. “Just like everybody else, we didn’t realize this was going to go on and on and on. So I came up with the idea of a virtual recording.”

The 20- to 25-minute program will feature the choir’s familiar farewell song, “It’s Time for Movin’ On,” followed by remarks from Bond and his daughter Melissa, introductions of each senior, and announcements of awards and scholarships.

For the 56 participating choristers, the hard part is already over. Over a week-long series of sessions, each one individually recorded their part at Grace Episcopal Church. Brian Capener recorded the vocals while a click track kept a steady tempo, allowing the recordings to be blended in unison along with piano, bass and drum tracks.

Bond said the idea got off the ground once Jennifer King, the theater guru at Napa Valley College, put him in touch with Kevin Kemp of The Streaming Theatre.

Based in Los Angeles, Kemp agreed to produce the virtual concert using the vocal and instrumental tracks and photos of the choristers, particularly the graduating seniors.

“I’ve already listened to the audio and it sounds fantastic,” Bond said. “It was really fun to do this, and the kids were just thrilled to be able to do something.”

“Fingers crossed, next fall, God willing, we can get going again,” he added. “We will meet in some form.”

On the night of the show, the concert will be streamed at thestreamingtheatre.wixsite.com/home/livestream or twitch.tv/thestreamingtheatre. Donations to the St. Helena Choral Society will be welcomed via PayPal.

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