Northwood’s Alma Mater: a virtual celebration

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Rachel Gima, Staff Writer

A recording of the Northwood High Alma Mater, performed by nearly every student in the Instrumental Music program, was played at the end of the year Instrumental Music banquet on Saturday, May 30. 

Spearheaded by Instrumental Music Directors Ben Case and Whitney Tavlarides and senior Andrew Alvarado, this performance served as a way for the students to band together, create music and boost a sense of community spirit even while socially distanced.

Not being able to have my final performances and the opportunity to say goodbye to one of the most important places in my life was a difficult thing to choke down,” Alvarado said. “With a project like this, I can have a final send-off and say thank you to everyone that made these four years so memorable. It’s something I can keep with me as a representation of all the joy and memories Northwood’s Instrumental Music program has brought me.” 

While the recording isn’t the equivalent of a final performance and celebration, for seniors like Alvarado, it is a tangible keepsake of the NHS music program. And for all of those involved, it serves as a valuable, unique experience and memory.

It was made to honor all of our students, freshmen through seniors, as we are truly all in this together,” Case said. “Though we’ve all seen our concerts and end of the year plans changed, we are all still bound by these common experiences—good and bad. As musicians, we find a sense of normality and comfort in sharing our art with others.”

The process of making that music was certainly different than what most instrumental students are used to. Those who submitted recordings not only had to learn the music, but had to adhere to detailed, specific guidelines when recording their parts. 

“It was really different from the music I’m used to performing because every note and every breath had to be intentional,” Wind Ensemble member sophomore Simran Patel said. “I had to make sure that I was playing with the exact time and style that the directors outlined, which made me  focus and understand the music a lot more.” 

The leaders of this project created it in order to continue fostering a sense of community among Northwood students despite all of the changes that occurred near the end of this school year.

“This whole experience of quarantine is life changing. But we weren’t ready to give up hope of all our lost performances for the year and wanted something to honor all of our students’ hard work throughout the year,” Tavlarides said. “This project and our school’s Alma Mater speak about how we will hold each other dear and stand strong and proud, even in these uncertain times.”