ArtsNov 30, 2020

updated Dec 17, 2020

How does Grace Notes happen in the world of Zoom?

Grace Notes, the School’s a cappella singing group, keeps producing great music — even though world's apart!

By Chelsie Li ’21 — Horizons Media Team

Although the ongoing pandemic made it difficult for students to get back to school after summer vacation, the MHS community still maintains close contact online and through other means.

Grace Notes, the School’s a cappella singing group, which also functions as an ambassador for the School, is still having regular meetings and practicing music pieces, just as we would any other year.

How, you may ask, can we possibly do that? Well — it’s not easy!

Grace Notes has meetings two times a week. Considering that students are in different time zones, people break into two groups, one group has rehearsal on Wednesdays, and the other group practices on Fridays. The two groups convene at the end of the session on Friday at around 10:30 a.m. EST (which is 11:30 p.m. in China and 10:30 p.m. in Vietnam!).

The meetings always open with a brief warm-up with the entire group — all 11 of us — repeating after Ms. Duff (our director). After warming-up, the co-heads — Jiho ’21 and I — try some fun games, such as “Never Have I Ever” and “Charades,” getting students connected while also having fun.

Then, we separate into breakout rooms with singers who sing the same part. In the breakout rooms, students practice music pieces first, then sing for each other. We always help each other with questions as well. We practice the parts to prepared recordings Ms. Duff has made with a set tempo.

Under these circumstances, Grace Notes is not able to perform live, so each group member records themself singing to the recorded tempo. We then send our part to Ms. Duff, who synthesizes the voice of each person into a single recording and shares the final product with the MHS community.

Click here to listen to two of our recently recorded holiday favorites!