In need of Christmas music this week? Support local students


Many area schools have posted links to their virtual concerts

One of the traditions, for many families, while opening Christmas presents in the morning is to have Christmas music on throughout the house.

Just another way to feel the spirit of the holiday.

There are countless ways to find the perfect blend for your family. 

This year, there are even more ways to share the gift of music … from local students.

Skyview High School and Alki Middle School students joined talents for a holiday sing-along. Many schools throughout Clark County are posting links to their holiday concerts. Photo courtesy Skyview High School
Skyview High School and Alki Middle School students joined talents for a holiday sing-along. Many schools throughout Clark County are posting links to their holiday concerts. Photo courtesy Skyview High School

Many, many high schools throughout Clark County have links on their websites for virtual performances from choirs, orchestras, and bands. 

Skyview High School and Alki Middle School have posted a sing-along.

Heritage High School also worked with younger students in its community. There is a concert video, plus a video for one song that features students from elementary, middle, and high school. 

“Keep singing,” said Billy Buhl, choir director at Heritage. “The pandemic is temporary. (The concert) provided a lot of hope and inspiration. It’s so important to lean on the arts and music. Now more than ever. We can still create meaningful works of art for the community.”

A Winter Carol Sing-Along with Skyview and Alki students can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fupb53z2zthzwYZiSiKDly6siEnX1Gii/view
“It’s a sweet little video. I sent it to the community. All the moms and grandmas are very, very happy,” said Philip Denton, the choir director at Skyview and Alki. “I have a rule: If grandma is happy, I’m happy.”

That means, he said, the performance accomplished its goal, communicating through music.

In 2020, of course, producing concerts is a lot different. 

“It’s a much more complicated process than doing it live,” Denton said. 

Denton sent the students the music, had them record themselves singing, then he processed and synced the sound to come up with a virtual sing-along. 

Besides their vocals, the students got into it by wearing Santa hats or holiday sweaters. They worked on getting the perfect lighting in the background.

“I think the students really had a good time with it,” Denton said. 

But again, this was not as simple as singing a song and recording it. Ever listen to music just over a Zoom call? Doesn’t always sound right. So there was a lot of post-production work, as well.

“The first song I processed took about eight hours,” Denton said. “By the last one, I kind of knew what I was doing. The last one took two-and-a-half hours.”

A lot of work, but it was all for the arts.

Heritage High School knows all about that editing process, as well. The Timberwolves debuted a livestream concert last week. It can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRFpPgrYGjs

And Heritage also has a one-song performance, with students from all ages from throughout the neighborhood. It is called One Voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6XQUvJkads

“We wanted to create something meaningful for the community, show everyone the arts are still thriving,” Buhl said. “We can still create.”

Just like at Skyview, this was more than simply asking for a few people to sing on camera. There was a lot of mixing, editing, to make it special.

“The finished produce really turned out great,” Buhl said.

With just a quick search on social media, or on school websites, we found links from these high schools. Yes, we know there are more. Feel free to add links in the comments. Spread the joy, share the music. 

Skyview High School:

Winter Sing-Along: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fupb53z2zthzwYZiSiKDly6siEnX1Gii/view

Orchestra program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB14PeM6rWg

Heritage High School:

Concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRFpPgrYGjs

One Voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6XQUvJkads

Union High School:

Band: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ0tzYWsQXs

Mountain View High School:

Choir:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qEw_r7kDlk

Evergreen High School:

Orchestra show debuts at 5 p.m. Dec. 22: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eF4Omp3xCzQ

Battle Ground High School:

Choir: https://bghs.battlegroundps.org/watch-bghs-choir-perform-holiday-favorites/

Hockinson High School: 

Band: For a link to its concert, go to the band’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/hockinsonband/

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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