It is an annual tradition that even a pandemic could not stop.
Each year, Shaftesbury High School choir and band students perform carols for seniors in care homes to spread some holiday joy. With pandemic and social distancing measures in place, Andrea Wicha, choir director, and Cynthia Weevers, band director, had to get creative.
“Music brings back memories in people’s lives; it won’t just uplift them but bring back some beautiful stories,” said Weevers.
To keep spirits up, students turned their musical talents virtual by creating a video with the help of the school’s digital pictures and film making students and teacher, Shawn Dolinski.
“This is our way of keeping them company and telling them that there is still something to look forward to,” said Karen Georgy, Grade 11 student.
Over the years, Shaftesbury students developed relationships with many local seniors through music and conversation. The connections are a source of pride for educators Wicha and Weevers, who believe in teaching their students that music, can make our community and even the world a better place.
“In music, we always teach about humility and unity. Our performers developed perspective, love, and perseverance, and we hope to show those emotions through music,” said Weevers.
In addition to song, the students created cards to send to care homes.
“For some seniors, that is the only card they’ll get for Christmas, and this is the only person that will ‘visit’ them since they can’t receive visitors or presents. We want the seniors to feel less alone, loved, and cared about,” said Wicha.
The heartfelt video will be shared with Poseidon Care Centre and Tuxedo Villa Extendicare
Special thanks to Celeen George, communications intern, from Red River College for her work on this article.