DGS choir prepares for upcoming concert amid COVID-19 protocols

DGS Choir Director Joy Belt-Roselieb, with the help of Accompanist and Tremble Ensemble Director Dr. Ricardo Pedroza and A Cappella and Chamber Singers Director Belford Hernandez, is currently working to prepare the participating choir ensembles for their upcoming concert on Tuesday, Oct. 5, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the auditorium.

The choir has implemented many changes in order to prepare for their concert while still following all Covid protocols.

“We’ve purchased special singer masks, so students will be able to perform. We are still right now three feet apart, so we are still okay with that piece on stage. Of course we are singing in the most spectacular, beautiful auditorium space [that allows us to spread out],” Belt-Roselieb said.

However, following these protocols has imposed many challenges in Belt-Roselieb’s ability to effectively teach and instruct her singers.

“As a director I rely heavily on my hearing to make sure students are singing well, singing in tune, have good technique and good breathing and that’s been difficult because [the masks] have really been a handicap since we use our mouths all the time. Plus, I can’t show them vowel shapes and how my mouth should look when I’m singing, so it’s really hampered our growth of technique that [the students] are not able to see me,” Belt-Roselieb said.

Sophomore and Treble Choir member Grace Rerucha shares personal challenges she faces in rehearsal.

“Being able to breathe [is the most challenging part] because of the masks. Also to hear yourself when you are singing,” Rerucha said.

Despite these challenges, the DGS choir has many factors keeping them motivated and inspired through this difficult time.

“Being back in person has been awesome because [the students] are back to rehearsing again and they are really working hard. There are things we have lost but then things have to compensate with our masks so we actually make it work. Students have been very resilient with that and they have put their hearts and souls into it and of course I think they are very excited to sing in the new space,” Belt-Roselieb said.

Senior and A Cappella member Adreana Duarte shares what she is looking forward to the most regarding the upcoming concert.

“[I am looking forward to] being on stage. We rehearsed today in the auditorium and it was crazy. We sounded amazing and I am just so excited to be on stage,” Duarte said.

Belt-Roselieb shares Duarte’s enthusiastic view of performing in the new auditorium.

“Singing on stage [is what I am looking forward to the most]. And sharing it with the community because without their support we would not have had the [auditorium] built. They agreed to do the tax referendum so it’s for the community not just for this year but for decades to come,” Belt-Roselieb said.

“This is our first concert in 19 months. We were the last concert in the old stage and what’s cool is now we are the first concert in the new stage, so I mean it’s serendipity or something,” Belt-Roselieb said.