When people hear of distance learning, they usually think of math, history, or english classes online.

What people tend to forget about is choir class taking place virtually.

Monticello Director of Choirs Nathan Herfindahl is making the most of his online classes and going the extra mile for graduating seniors.

For the past month Herfindahl has been working on a virtual performance for the 2020 Monticello High School graduation ceremony.

Every year the choir chooses a song that represents life’s journey and this year won’t be any different.

The song they’ve chosen is ‘The Road Home’ by Steven Paulus. A portion of the song reads, “Tell me, where is the road I can call my own? That I left, that I lost so long ago? All these years I have wandered. Oh, when will I know? There’s a way, there’s a road. That will lead me home.”

This song should honor the seniors especially during their unorthodox school year.

This year is different however, in the amount of time that it’s taking to put together. 

Herfindahl is using Adobe Premiere and Audition to put together the video and audio. 

The process looks like this: “The way it works is each student records a video of them performing their part on a specific piece of music while watching a conducting video I have made for reference and to keep everything in tempo,” Herifndahl described. “I then take all the videos and rip the audio from them to mix a sound file. After that, I will take all the videos and edit a video with all of the choir members singing their parts and overlay the audio with it. Once we have it all done, it will be presented as part of the virtual graduation ceremony.”

Herfindahl has to approve each of his students videos and then come up with a final priduct. That means he has 450 videos to watch that are each three minutes long. Needless to say, it’s been one heck of a project.

“It is quite time consuming,” Herfindahl said. “The set up alone probably took 12 hours. We have been submitting videos for a month, and the editing takes a great deal of time. First I pull the audio from the video files and mix it, that takes probably 30 hours, the video will take another 30, but it is a labor of love and we are creating something that will not only greatly impact the graduation ceremony, but will exist forever online after this is all done.”

Herfindahl is extremely proud of what his choir has accomplished and how they’ve adapted to online learning.

He sees his class as one that is self motivated. It’s not similar to math or english class. Students are in choir becase they choose to be and it’s something they love.

“I am always proud of my choir students,” Herfindahl said. “Distance learning is tricky, but the reason it works for my students is because their motivations lie outside of the traditional realm of education.”

The virtual choir performance will be played at the 2020 graduation ceremony on Friday, June 5 through a virtual broadcast.

Reach Jessie Meyen at jessie.meyen@apgecm.com


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