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Fox Lane Middle School Rock Ensemble Students Perform Virtual Concert

Seven eighth-grade students and Fox Lane Middle School teacher Matt Vanacoro came together from afar last week for an experimental virtual concert. The students, who are part of Vanacoro’s co-curricular Rock Ensemble, used mobile devices to record themselves singing from home. Vanacoro then synchronized it all at his home studio and put it together in a video. The result was a beautiful rendition of the Eagles’ Seven Bridges Road. 

“I did a few trial runs by myself first,” Vanacoro said, adding that he knew a “click track” would help students stay with the beat. “I provided them with a click track to play with, along with me barking some instructions in their headphones while they played that I’m sure they found annoying.”

The most difficult part for Vanacoro was balancing cell phone sound.

“Luckily, my students are pros all the way and did a good job of recording in the best way possible,” he said. “We had an online meeting before we did it to discuss best practices and everyone retained that knowledge.”

The end product was an uplifting video that is a real bright spot during these uncertain times.

“I hope that first and foremost my students learned that no matter the circumstance, music can bring people together,” Vanacoro said. “It’s such a big shock — our class is a band that practices nearly every day at school. To lose that so suddenly is hard. I wanted them to see that we can still make music together. We can stay connected. It might be a bit more work, but it’s worth it. Bringing joy to others and yourself through the arts is one of the worthiest things we can do in this life.”

Bravo to Mr. Vanacoro, Maisie McGuirk, Grace Cleveland, Luke McConnell, Bianca Bayona, Isadora Lewis-Sanchez, Sam Griff, Max Wright and Kate Loughney for keeping us all connected in such a beautiful way.