West Salem High School band and orchestra students perform "Sleigh Ride" (Screenshot)
They may be playing from home, but West Salem High School's band and orchestra still found a way to spread some holiday cheer.
About sixty students in the high school's ensembles collaborated to perform "Sleigh Ride" virtually, releasing the recording this week.
The school usually holds a "Winter at West" concert in December featuring the band, orchestra and choir. Band director Todd Zimbelman said the music department wanted to do something for the holiday season this year in lieu of holding a concert.
Each student recorded their part at home while listening to the backing track through headphones. Zimbelman presented the effort in class as a "top secret project" and gave students two weeks to rehearse and two weeks to record their videos.
Orchestra director George Thomson spent a long weekend mixing the individual tracks together, with a day and a half just getting the audio lined up.
"Everyone was remarkably well in sync with their individual videos, but they needed to be adjusted for volume, timing, and pitch – the sort of thing we would do in rehearsal," Thomson said in an email.
Cropping and syncing the videos was next, and the final product took several attempts to render.
The result might just be enough to make it snow.
Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.
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