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Episode 50: The Masked Singers of Mountain Ridge High

After nearly six months of silence, there is once again music filtering out into the halls of Mountain Ridge High School. In this episode of the Supercast, Superintendent Anthony Godfrey stops by music teacher Kelly DeHaan’s classroom where he visits with students who are making beautiful music again as part of the Mountain Ridge Madrigals. They are singing wearing masks, doing all they can to be Sentinel Strong and stay in school.


(00:17):
Welcome to the Supercast. I'm your host superintendent, Anthony Godfrey. After nearly six months of silence, there is once again, music filtering out into the halls of mountain Ridge high school. That music is coming from the master singers, otherwise known as the mountain Ridge madrigals. I had the pleasure of visiting music, teacher Kelly, to Han's classroom, where the madrigals were rehearsing. All of them wearing masks and eager to share their passion about music and being Sentinel strong so they can stay in school. Let's keep it that quick. [inaudible] Nice. Put your music your side. If you're off, if you're done to sing. Yes, I am. Yes, I [inaudible].

(01:41):
It's very intimidating being with this group. I would love to have your talents and abilities, or at least your instructor. The barrier is this madrigals. This is, this is our Madrigal choir, the most elite choir, the school, the Madrigal choir. Wow. Did you have to try out for this choir? And so was that a virtual tryout in the spring? We did. We had actual auditions just before COVID happened, right. With this class. We get, we got done. So the tryouts were in March? Yes. Wow. Very early. So your path was forged very early in your junior year. That's fantastic. So do you work on stuff over the summer or do you just kick right in when the school do summer activities and this year I didn't feel safe doing so. And so we had our first time singing together on Monday. How did it feel? Anybody raise your hand? Tell me how it felt. Other people, not something that I couldn't do, but not at all. I got as a group. I feel like you can find me on spirit of joy right here. That seems to sum up how you feel.

(03:00):
There's an being together as one thing, singing together as another, I would think, yes. We're going to step outside and interview a few students from mr. Don's magicals class. That's what I call it. When was it? Is it high madrigals goals or turbo matter with all the super magicals are here with me? And tell me your names.

(03:20):
I'm Chelsea, I'm Savannah,

(03:23):
Chelsea, and Savannah. How does it feel to be back in class, particularly this class? It is a wonderful, I think I missed singing. It's something you can't really replicate online. Something I really missed along with just being with all my classmates,

(03:39):
Particularly to this class, I find it very relieving to be back in the classroom with the energy that Kelly DeHaan brings to it. And knowing that we worked hard for the place that we're at, especially as second years. And it feels really glad to have glad to have that gratification back into our lives and just feeling fulfilled. Yeah. I feel complete and whole again, I, you know, I felt so empty without having to, you know, express myself through song and coming to this class, it's just a whole different experience. It almost, it's almost like it takes you away from the stresses of school and you just let it all out. And the people are amazing. We're all really great friends. We all love each other. We all support each other so much. And it's just so fun to be around people that I know that like me and I like them.

(04:30):
Well, it's kind of comfort because you've all sung together before for you to be in magicals. You've had some, some previous experience and you tried out for that. What how does it feel different from other choir classes that you've had in the past now that we have these precautions in place as well? The mask

(04:50):
I got to say I CA it is a really big deal that we are not sitting exactly next to each other. We can't hear each other anymore. It is very individual, so it's a lot more work that we have to make sure we have our part because we don't know what it sounds like anymore. We have to trust on in our own skills that we know that we're singing the right parts and we have to trust in Kelly that he is directing us in the right way,

(05:16):
Even though you are together in the same space and it feels great to be back together, you're still a little bit more isolated than you normally would be.

(05:25):
[Inaudible] Adding on to that. I it's really hard cause the masks, the, you can really only hear yourself. You can't really hear other people. And it's really hard to, you know, suck in as much air as you can because you're basically breathing in a mask and sometimes it like gets right in to your mouth and you're looking at, you know, and it's really hard to tell when you're projecting and if you're projecting enough. So like if we're performing in the gym or in the auditorium, sometimes it's we practice quieter because we're in masks and we can hear really well that it doesn't come off as loud as it would in an open space.

(06:01):
I see. So you're not going to wear a mask after you don't have to, when you're singing is what I'm gathering.

(06:09):
The second that they say masks are done,

(06:13):
But I heard a student in class say he do just about anything in terms of procedures in order to be back. Do you feel the same way?

(06:22):
I definitely, if that, so what we are hoping for 2021 is that some restrictions may be lifted. If that means I have to wear my mask, or even that means we go online for a little bit of time. I will take that sacrifice. If that means I get to sing with my choir again,

(06:41):
Mr. D compared the having mask on to a cross country athlete that was wearing weights on his shoes and he walked around and then when he took them off for his race, he was able to run a lot faster. So I think we're learning different ways. And once we do take those off, we'll be better singers and better have different perspective on things.

(07:02):
Believe me, my diction and projection has amplified tenfold and breathing also. Cause you have to take an extra air just to make sure you have it.

(07:12):
Well, I think that's true. Even when we're talking, I think we'll be shouting at each other for a while after these masks come off and our personal space is going to be really big because we're so used to distancing

(07:25):
The personal circle thing.

(07:28):
Was it what you expected or is it a different from what you were anticipating?

(07:33):
I've been really impressed with everybody. All the administration was really planned out. Well. you can tell there's a lot of procedures that they're following. Each of the teachers knows exactly what they're doing and what they have to do. And students have been awesome with wearing masks which we were surprised about, but everybody's just on board and is seeing this as a link to getting one step closer and being in school.

(07:57):
Yeah, that's what I really love about this school is I feel like everybody's so passionate about being here, that they will do anything in their possible, you know, way to be here. And I'm really amazed how respectful they are and what the teachers. They're amazing. They're very kind to saying, Hey, please put up your masks because I want to be here with you. The teachers want to be there with us as much as we want to be with them. I am also liking the added unity that this has brought upon our school before. It was a whole bunch of our first year, a whole bunch of schools coming together, trying to be one, I think with this, it's this added we're mountain Ridge and we're going to stay and we want to stay here. We choose to be here right now, not schools along with Sentinel strong. I truly very, very passionately believe in Sentinel strong because I feel like every kid here has that part of them inside of them. And they all just are strong as people. And so I just think

(08:56):
That's amazing. So it's not just being back. That's unifying, it's doing whatever it takes to stay back. That's unify. Great. Well, it's really fun being in a class. It's really fun seeing you guys let's head back in and do a little more singing or you guys can do a little bit

(09:13):
At the beginning. We'll do we'll just do all the men and all the women to help us. [inaudible]

(09:46):
We're going to take a quick break. And when we come back here, more music from the magic magicals and find out what they're doing to stay safe while learning and doing what they love.

(10:02):
Are you looking for a job right now, looking to work in a fun and supportive environment with great pay and a rewarding career. Jordan school district is hiring. We're currently feeling full and part time positions. You can work and make a difference in young lives and education as a classroom assistant or a substitute teacher apply to work in one of our school cafeterias where our lunch staff serves up big smiles with great food every day. We're also looking to hire custodians and bus drivers in Jordan school district. We like to say people come for the job and enjoy the adventure. Apply today@workatjordan.org. [inaudible] Only think I extended the lions as a musician. It gets you a little bit off the mountains and a central stack there, right? Because it's kind of sorry, go ahead. No, keep going. I will. I wrote this song for our school and I'm really proud of it.

(11:50):
One of the first people who got to hear it think he performed it for us. This is our school. It means a lot to me. I came into the room and the school was still under construction and it's so beautiful and perfect. And the song has kind of wrote itself. Did you realize that you don't just have a teacher? You have an artist in residence? Yes you do. I tell them all the time, how good I am. I will back you up on that. What would you like to, can you, can we hear that song? Can we hear it? Okay. They're sight reading a lot of them and some of them, no. Okay.

(12:38):
We won't do the solos at the beginning. We'll do, we'll just do all the men and all the women. Alright. Nathan, are you a junior or senior? I'm a senior this year. Alright. Nathan is in the magicals class. We're visiting today. Nathan, you said something in class that I thought was remarkable. You'd do pretty much anything to be here. Yep. I would volunteer to follow 12 more policies if it meant being able to be here and seeing, I will admit I was concerned about singing and masks, but we're making it work. It may not be ideal, but I'm so grateful to be here. And they're singing safely. Now that you're back at school, is it what you expected or not? Some of both. I mean, we went in knowing we'd have to wear masks and there would be social distancing to the extent possible and we'd be cleaning.

(13:50):
So that part I expected. But what I did not expect was all of the positivity where normally people aren't willing to be in school, but everybody I've talked to is 100% willing to be back in school because we've missed it so much. So there's not just a pent up desire to be at school, but there's a pent up desire to do whatever it takes to stay in school. Exactly. Yeah. What did you miss most about being at school? I missed all of the social relationships from being inquired from being in the lunch room, school kind of revolves around being with people. So being stuck at home for six months was really hard for me. And I'm sure for a lot of people you've only just started back. Does it already feel easier to learn in person than it did online infinitely being in person with a real teacher that can give you face to face feedback you can feed off your classmates technology is great, but it's something that you just can't fully replicate well here's to a great year. Thanks for talking with me, Nathan. Thank you. [inaudible]

(15:04):
Madrigals is the type of class that was considered a special class with some additional potential risk because of the singing and exhaling and all of that. And you have taken some very thoughtful, deliberate precautions. Can you walk us through those? Sure.

(15:19):
As the students come in, we take their temperatures and we ask them if they have any symptoms and I show them a symptom chart. And if the answer that they don't have any symptoms and they pass the temperature test, then they can come into their pre-assigned seating. That has been socially distanced for them. I've put pictures of all the students that share those chairs on the chair. So the students feel so they know, so we can trace if there's any problems at all. We know exactly where they were sitting on that day. We keep a record of all of our seating charts, and then the students wear their masks always while they're singing. And they, they stay socially distance like this for the whole rehearsal. They have assigned slots for their, for their music to go into that that keeps everything safe and neat. So we don't have to sound the types of music each time. And and then at the end of class my student teacher and I go through and we sanitize each chair that has come in contact with people.

(16:18):
Well, it's working great. And talking with students in the class, anything you have to do is worth it to give them the chance to be. We all feel that way, a students back

(16:30):
It's, everything, it's everything. I didn't realize as an educator, how much of my self perception and happiness was dependent on being able to reach out to kids and especially through music. And and now that they're back, I feel like I'm back. Isn't that strange? I feel like I've been a little bit vacant and in that hazy Netflix world. And now that now that I have these kids back, it's like, my life is, is back.

(17:00):
I'm so happy. I that's the sentiment I'm hearing everywhere I go. And I guess I'd ask, is it what you expected? Is it different from what you expected

(17:12):
Better than I could have ever expected? And it's harder than I knew it would be. It's hard. It's worth every second.

(17:18):
There are still obstacles. Aren't there, even though we're back together

(17:21):
So many, we'll get it,

(17:23):
Figure it out, it'll get better and better. And when those obstacles are gone, it'll be like we're walking three inches off of the year.

(17:30):
Oh, it's going to be so great to get rid of these nasty masks, but we'll keep doing it. Congrats

(17:35):
Correlations on being back together and having this experience. I hope you enjoy it and make them, I know you're going to enjoy it, make the most of it and have a great year. Enjoy it. Thank you for joining us for the 50th episode of the Supercast. Remember education is the most important thing you'll do today. We'll see you out there.

 

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