By Vicky Gao

In the midst of the pandemic, choir students will perform Monday night at the Abilene zoo in a Covid-safe outdoor Christmas choir concert.

“We are very excited to have this creative approach to what is normally a really formal event for our Christmas concert,” head choir director Wendy Weeks said. “It’s going to be a really unique performance opportunity that really our students have never had before.”

The theme of the Christmas concert is Under the Stars. The concert begins at 6:30 December 14th with a scenic backdrop of the lake and a hired production team for lighting. It’s a more casual approach than previous years with matching sweatshirts in replacement of the usual formal dresses and tuxedos, though holiday music will remain and the focus.

“I think it’ll be fun,” senior Hannah Hillis said. “I’m really glad we’re going to be able to spread Christmas cheer.”

Passing on the joy of the season is not the only consideration – safety is a top priority. Masks are to be worn by concert-goers and singers alike and the crowd size will be managed by staggered performance times of various choirs.

“Social distancing is of course something that’s very important for us to consider,” Weeks said. “We’re trying to take all the precautions we can to make sure that it’s a safe environment for everybody – the performers and the audience as well.”

Each student received four tickets to invite their guests to the concert. Audience members may enjoy the attractions of the zoo while their child’s choir is not singing in order to manage crowd size, allowing for the attendees whose child is performing to have first choice of seating.

“I’m interested to see how it goes,” junior Harrison Smith said. “It will be different for sure, but I think we can still have a really successful concert. It’s amazing the way everybody’s adapted – the directors and students.”

In addition to the Monday night performance, on Wednesday and Thursday December 16th and 17th, choirs will be performing on campus all day, showcasing to classmates and teachers who might have not been able to attend the music of the season.

 For the upcoming performance Monday night, the zoo is going to be entirely rented out and adorned with lights for the evening.

“I think it’s going to be a way we can still share our love for singing and the music of the season,” Weeks said. “Our families will get to enjoy a beautiful outdoor setting to hear some beautiful music.”

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