Wind ensemble spreads holiday spirit through YouTube performance


Jacky Le, Chronicle Staff Writer

On Dec. 11, band teacher Brianna Gatch premiered a pre-recorded rendition of Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” performed by the Clover Hill Wind Ensemble on  YouTube.

Band members recorded their individual parts separately and Gatch edited the video to make the audio sound natural.

“The performance is edited in a tedious process of collecting videos, splitting the audio from the video, editing the audio so that it all lines up, and then putting the videos together,” Gatch said. “Students are given a click track to play along with in their headphones while they perform their own part and record.”

Wind Ensemble has been preparing for over a month since early November.

Gatch hopes that the festive song will spread a bit of holiday cheer..

“I think one of the major things that are missing from our lives right now is live performance. Though a virtual performance can in no way replace the feeling of being in a room with live music, it will certainly brighten the moods of those who watch and will remind us that we will get back to making music in person,” said Gatch. “I also think it is important to support our young musicians who are used to having a performance to show for their work, and I want to motivate their desire to keep performing in any way I can.”

For the performance, students receive a grade and have the opportunity to share the video with others. 

Abby Havener, a member of Clover Hill’s Wind Ensemble, enjoyed the experience of recording virtually with 47 other musicians.

“It was fun to learn and practice, and it got me into the Christmas spirit a little,”Havener said. 

Pre-recorded performances do have drawbacks. For example, musicians miss out on the authentic experience an in-person performance can provide. 

“I definitely prefer [playing] live,” said Havener. “Live performances give you such a better feeling, kind of an adrenaline rush sometimes. I like having an audience, and it’s a lot easier to play with other people around you.”

Gatch sees the lack of communication as a major downside of a virtual performance format.

“I think a major drawback of a virtual performance is that the musicians do not get to experience the incredible feeling of making music shoulder to shoulder on stage in our beautiful school auditorium,” said Gatch. “It makes all of the long hours of practice worth it, and no pre-recorded concert can ever replace it.”

While Cavaliers can not watch the Wind Ensemble perform in the near future, everyone can watch the video on Brianna Gatch’s YouTube channel through the link here or the video below.