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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

RHS Select Choir "Formal" Trivia Night

Submitted by Rutherford Schools

By Jennifer Ersalesi

The Rutherford High School Select Choir held a “Formal” Trivia Night on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The kids wore their prom/formal dresses and they played trivia. Choir teacher, Mrs. Patricia Blanchard, has created this activity along with many others to stay connected with her students during this quarantine.

This is Rutherford spoke with Mrs. Patricia Blanchard about this special night for her Select Choir students.

TIR: Where did you come up with this idea?

Patricia Blanchard: I was in a Zoom call with some other choir teachers (a group I found on Facebook) talking about the struggles of teaching choir virtually. One of the teachers said that she started doing a trivia day with her class to try and promote some feeling of community. I liked the idea, and I thought it would be fun to try with my select choir.

TIR: How did your select choir students react to the idea?

PB: I offered them a choice of a karaoke night or a trivia night, and they chose trivia. I also added the aspect of making it "formal" and invited them to wear their prom/ junior formal dresses. Many of the students bought dresses but then weren't able to wear them. I even found my prom dress in the attic and wore it!

TIR: What type of trivia game did you play? What types of questions?

PB: We played 5 rounds of trivia with ten different questions in each category. The topics were sports, music, movies, geography, and a general category.

TIR: Throughout this virtual learning experience, how have you tried to stay connected to your students?

PB: It's been very difficult because we are unable to sing together. I miss being in school, but I really miss the interaction with the students. I have utilized the Zoom platform, and we have live classes once or twice a week. We also had a tribute to our seniors on the night that we would have had our spring concert. We spent the night reflecting on all their accomplishments in choir throughout their four years. It was a very nice way to put a positive spin on our current situation.

Overall, I'm just trying to keep things as normal as possible. We're still singing, we're still learning, and the students are continuing to improve.

This is Rutherford also spoke with Rutherford High School Senior, Tierra Sherlock, about the “Formal” Trivia Night.

TIR: What did you think of Formal Trivia Night?

Tierra Sherlock: Formal Trivia Night was a really cute idea. No one really has anywhere to be right now, so it was nice to have an excuse to get all dressed up.

Christina Scanlon: I think it was a really cute idea! I love trivia, so I was very

excited about this idea.

TIR: What was the best part of the experience?

TS: Many months ago, my friends and I went shopping for prom dresses together. It was nice to finally see their dresses in action, complete with the finishing touches they would have debuted on prom night.

CS: My favorite part of this experience was getting to spend time with my choir even though we’re all at home. I have friends in choir that I don’t always get to talk to, so it was nice to see everyone!

TIR: What has Mrs. Blanchard done to make sure you are all still connected and learning during this challenging time?

TS: Wednesday nights were always dedicated to Select Choir rehearsals, so it's comforting to continue spending time with the choir members through the activities Mrs. Blanchard has planned. She previously held a "virtual concert" for us. Resembling a senior night, she recapped her favorite memories with us over the last four years, gave underclassmen the opportunity to speak about certain seniors, and allowed us to share some of our parting words and advice with the group. Mrs. Blanchard has done a lot to celebrate the senior class and keep the choir community connected, and it doesn't go without sincere gratitude.

CS: Mrs. Blanchard has done a lot to make sure we are all connected and learning. We zoom for class often and class is nearly the same as it was at school. We warm-up, learn music, work on music theory, practice sight-singing, and sing the songs we were going to sing if we were still in school. We also have select choir events and zooms occasionally, which is a fun way to still sing and be with our choir even though we can’t see each other.

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