Behind the Notes; Interview with Alyssa Varga

An inside look at a senior’s perspective on the choral department.


Sarah Kincaid, Bear Hub Editor

The choral department is a proud part of the East Brunswick High School community. Students are able to come together and share their vocal talents with one another, offering a bond that is quite unique. Unfortunately, this difficult year has created distance between the chorus students but that only made them get a bit more creative to still be able to gain the exciting experience chorus offers.

Q: What was your favorite part about chorus pre-pandemic?

A: Chorus pre-pandemic was one of my favorite parts of my school day. Some of my classmates and I have been singing together for years and you form a bond with them through music. There is a special feeling when a group of very different people with very different voices can sing and sound like one being. Chorus was always the one class I felt like I was getting away from most of my worries, even though chorus had always been something I took very seriously.

Q: How has distance learning impacted the chorus department?

A: Distance learning has impacted not only the choral program but the music program as a whole. For the choral program in particular, there are many bumps in the road when you suddenly have to sing to a screen. Singing with other people is what makes chorus so special, now it seems like a solo performance. We all have to make sure we pull our weight for our recordings, and of course some people don’t do that. Motivation to sound your best while at home isn’t easy to come by.

Virtual students in Mr. Good’s chorus class appear on screen to thank him for his continued support and effort as their teacher.

Q: What are you doing to continue interacting with fellow chorus students?

A: In class we all keep our cameras on, it’s a very important rule. Most of us are used to seeing each other’s faces and looking at each other for cues when we sing together in person so it feels natural to see everyone on the screen even if we aren’t singing. A lot of the times we get into deep conversations about what is going on in the world or our lives and we make sure to take the time to discuss it together.

Q: How has chorus as a whole impacted your life?

A: Chorus has always been something I looked forward to. I joined in fourth grade and have been involved since. Right now I am in Concert Choir, one of the honors groups here at the high school. This is my third year in one of the honors groups and I couldn’t be happier. Chorus has been a large part of my life and I am really sad that it is my last year. If you ever get the chance, I really highly recommend taking chorus! Audition for honors groups or some of our clubs like Acabellas or JARB! The choral program will always welcome new faces with open arms. I consider it to be my family, I always have and always will.

Mr. Good proudly featured with his concert choir students after their EBHS winter performance, (pre-pandemic).

Q: What is one piece of advice you would offer fellow students in the chorus program?

A: Some advice for students in chorus would be to enjoy it while it lasts. I know it can be difficult right now to enjoy something that is supposed to be done in a setting where others can sing with you, but just because it is hard doesn’t mean you should stop loving it. Chorus is more than just singing, it’s telling a story with the music you worked so hard to learn. It’s creating a bond with your peers that trust you and help carry your voice forward with theirs. Chorus will come and go just as every good thing does, but don’t forget about the one of a kind experience it gives you just by being able to stand on that stage.

It may just seem like another class that must be attended but, for the students in the chorus program it is a place they can call home. For that one bit of time during the school day, students are able to express themselves and create an environment where they feel like they belong. It’s been a tough year with all of the chaos occurring in front of our eyes but, the choral department continues to expand their artistic talents together.

Instagram: @ ebhschoir

Winter Concert Playlist 2021