Students honor the holiday season by participating in the virtual Christmas concert


Ana López del Punta '23

This year, students perform virtually in the Christmas Concert.

Members of the Arts Department brought virtual holiday cheer to the Sacred Heart Greenwich community over winter break, maintaining the long-standing tradition of presenting an annual Christmas Concert.  In contrast to previous years, the Christmas Concert consisted of a series of recordings produced by Miss Annette Etheridge, Middle School and Upper School Music Director, Mr. Sean Lowery, Upper and Middle School Orchestra and Upper School Chorus Director, Miss Danielle Gennaro, Bell Choir Director, and Mrs. Eva Carrasquero P’16, Lower School Music Teacher and Arts Department Chair.

Second graders perform “Suzy Snowflake” for the virtual Christmas concert.  Ana López del Punta ’23

In the past, students in the second, third, and fourth grades, Middle School Madeleines, Ninth Grade Chorus, Upper School Madrigals, A Ca Bellas, Bell Choir, and Orchestra performed live at the Christmas Concert for their families.  This school year, however, current safety measures prevented Sacred Heart students from presenting their music in person at the Christmas Concert.  With the help of the Communications Department, pre-recorded pieces were first available on Sacred Heart’s website December 17.

Miss Etheridge, Director of Madeleines, A Ca Bellas, and Madrigals, highlighted how planning a virtual Christmas Concert presented many challenges.  In addition to teaching the pieces of music to the students, Miss Etheridge also created recordings in which she layered the student’s individual voices.  The different format of the concert also allowed each singing group to showcase its pieces in creative and innovative ways, as all three choirs presented their songs in the style of a music video. 

Sophomore Molly Kriskey is in her second year as a member of the Orchestra. Each instrumentalist had to pre-record her piece for the concert this year.   Molly commented on the difficulties of performing in the Christmas Concert virtually. 

The ninth and tenth grade Bell Choir presents “The First Noel.” Ana López del Punta ’23

“A challenging part of orchestra this year is having to record the song during rehearsal instead of playing it live at the concert because it is an environment that I am not used to,” Molly said.

Junior Ava Cobb is a member of the Upper School Bell Choir.  Students in the Bell Choir recorded songs during their Thursday morning rehearsals as well as at their homes.  Ava explained that although the choir faced challenges while preparing for the concert this year, there are positive aspects to the new format.

“This year the challenge is probably not being able to perform in person,” Ava said.  “Bells have such a specific sound that is hard to capture over video.  Due to the fact we are using videos we are able to make sure the performance is perfect.  It’s nice to know that if you mess up we can just start over.”

Miss Etheridge added that recordings will become part of the school’s archives.  They are also accessible for family members to view whenever they like.  She is grateful for the opportunity to arrange a performance that celebrates the holidays and also showcases the students’ talent. 

“Technology these days allows us to do this and it keeps the arts going [during] these times,” Miss Etheridge said.  “We are still able to put together some type of performance to celebrate the holidays and to show off the girls doing what they love to do.” 

Featured Image by Ana López del Punta ’23