Music in the mayhem: Orchestras put on virtual concert during pandemic

PHOTO: Rock violinist Mark Wood joins Davis students in the virtual performance. The concert is posted on Youtube.

By Allyson Kang and Lyah Fitzpatrick,

BlueDevilHUB Editors–

Due to the pandemic, all rehearsals and concerts of the Davis Joint Unified School District orchestras were canceled, including the Baroque Ensemble’s 12-day European tour. To meet this issue, orchestra teacher Angelo Moreno organized a virtual concert, which was live-streamed on June 7 and is currently on Youtube. 

“​When the pandemic hit […] my orchestra students, along with everyone in the country, suffered great personal losses. All of the hard work they had accomplished and all the goals they had worked towards were destroyed,” Moreno said.

According to the orchestra teacher, the seniors were most affected. Seniors in the Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra and Baroque Ensemble would have never been able to play in one of the three DHS orchestras again. 

“Instead of rolling over and accepting this horrible new reality, I made it a goal for myself and all of my orchestras to do something memorable and engaging, so I moved all their performance efforts online to create our virtual orchestra performances!” Moreno said. “This brought us together in a positive way and kept us meeting our musical goals and improving as individuals.”

The Davis All-City Elementary Orchestra and the Holmes Intermediate and Advanced Orchestras played alongside the DHS musicians. 

According to Holmes Junior High ninth-grader Joanne Kim, students recorded their music at home while listening to the backtrack through earphones. Their recordings were overlaid on top of each other into a single video. 

“I think that the concert went pretty well considering the circumstances,” Kim said. Sophomore Grace Mun, a member of the DHS Symphony Orchestra, also said that “it looked really good visually and felt as if you were watching a real concert.”

To make the virtual concert a reality, each student had to do their part.

“Everyone worked really hard to accomplish this,” Mun said. “It was really fun to have worked with such talented people.”

“The Live House,” a Los Angeles production company, put together the video and sound production. Two famous musicians, violinist Rachel Barton Pine (with her daughter Sylvia Pine) and rock violinist Mark Wood, helped with the performance. They will be sharing the videos to fans throughout the world. 

“The virtual concert was a great success. It was very well received by the student families and the greater virtual community,” Moreno said.

The concert also included the orchestras’ traditional end-of-the-year videos, senior class recognition and anniversary roast. 

To all of his orchestra students, Moreno expresses how he has “missed being with you greatly these past three months. I am so proud of all of you for being so resilient and committed to your musical team […] I cannot wait to be on the concert stage with you in the future showcasing all of your wonderful musical talents and accomplishments.”

To his senior class, Moreno wishes them all his best and expresses that they will be “missed but not forgotten.” 

To watch the full concert, look through the program here, or visit the Youtube channel “The Live House.”

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