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Local parent Kelly Kikuchi, left, and Arlington High School Flight member Carter Kikuchi move one of the props for Flight's "Believe" Christmas show on Dec. 11.

 

Arlington High School's Flight choir held their annual Christmas show as a drive-in style concert with numerous safety precautions.

The last time the school's Flight choir performed was their last Christmas show.

"It's such a big part of what Arlington does and the Christmas show is really Flight's show," said Heidi Forslund, choir director at the school. "I wanted to give them an opportunity to perform together again."

The Flight Choir performed the concert on Dec. 11 and 12, with two more showings planned for Dec. 17 and 18 at 7 p.m.

A couple of major changes from normal concerts had to be made to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outside drive-in concert was broadcast directly to car radios for audience members so they could stay in their vehicles.

"We got a radio transmitter so we transmitted through everyone's radios in their cars and it seems to have worked," said Forslund.

To keep the performers safe from each other they all wore pods that enclosed the top half of their bodies, an idea that Forslund said she got from her mother.

"I was trying to keep the microphones dry while having the kids move around while still being safe," she said.

The pods were also inlaid with Christmas lights able to switch between colors to give them a lighted glow.

The lights were donated by a local parent.

Finding the best way to do the concert safely was the biggest challenge, said Arlington High School Flight member Carter Kikuchi.

"Trying to get this approved and finding out how we could do this," he said. "I didn't even think the pods were a thing before [the teacher] found them."

Because of the condensation in the air and the enclosed nature, the pods themselves made the performance difficult as well.

"The pods were definitely the biggest challenge. You can't really see or hear," said Arlington High School Flight member Hannah Marsh.

Because of the pandemic there wasn't much rehearsal time available to the choir who only rehearsed five times before the actual show.

"They put in so much work without me really being there to help them," said Forslund.

Students had to independently learn their parts before the show.

"So we really just pulled this show through individual work and coming together with just a couple rehearsals," said Marsh.

The choir members also had to depend on each other more for the actual performance.

"Usually you can feed off the audience's energy but when it's just cars you're just up there with everyone else on stage," said Arlington High School Flight member Will Litton.

Even though the concert was very different from anything the school had done before,  students said they thought it came together well.

"I was kind of skeptical to see how it would really work. It's easy to say we're going to do a drive-in style concert and I wasn't sure we would be able to pull it off, but I think we really did," said Litton.

"I really thought it was going to be so slow and dragged out, but it went really fast," said Marsh.

Students said they were just glad to be able to do a performance again.

"I was so happy we were even able to do a Christmas show," said Kikuchi.

"I'm a senior so this is my last Christmas show and I was just really hoping we could pull of something," said Marsh, who added she was glad to be able to provide entertainment when so many people are going through tough times.

"I think the community really needs something right now, so just to be able to give back in this way is just really cool," she said.

Forslund wanted to thank school staff and parents who helped bring the concert together and she wanted to recognize the amount of extra work that choir members put in to be able to do this concert.

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