Monday, February 6, 2023
Feb. 6, 2023

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Band and choir performances return to View Ridge Middle School

The Columbian

RIDGEFIELD — As the View Ridge Middle School band practices by marching around the school parking lot, sunshine gleams off the bells of the horns. Two boys march along behind, towing an amp on a wagon for the band’s two electric guitars. This is not a small production; dozens of students march and play in formation. Band teacher Stephanie Bloom marches backward so the band can see her conducting. She ends the song with a hand flourish and a big smile. It’s good to be back.

Bloom and choir teacher Bobbe Whetsell are glad to be performing again. The last few years of online and hybrid teaching meant significant changes for band and choir. When students were attending school remotely due to COVID-19, there was no way to play together as a group; harmonies and concerts were impossible in online classrooms. And when the students returned to school, hybrid classes had their own set of restrictions like spacing, triple-ply surgical masks for choir, and slitted masks and bell covers for the band. Understandably, students fell a little behind when they couldn’t perform together. But now, they’re back.

Bloom has had four years with the same set of students through intermediate school and middle school. “The progress they have made has been exponential,” she said.