Lakewood High School's concert bands and choirs held a virtual Winter Concert this year to bring some music back to the community.
The Dec. 21 concert was put together virtually with recordings made before the broadcast and is available on YouTube.
The school had never tried a virtual concert before, said Katy Trapp, band and choir director for the school.
In the spring the school worked with an outside company to produce one song, but in December they put on the concert themselves featuring the Lakewood High School Concert Band, Concert Choir Ensemble, 'Swingbeat,' the school's jazz choir, and '11th Avenue,' the school's jazz band.
Trapp said the school and district administration wanted to provide what they could for kids this year for music.
"We talked about how many things have been taken away from the kids this year," she said. "It's an opportunity to have a little bit of normalcy.”
Music opportunities provide a community for many students and having that be missing for nearly a year is hard on kids, said Trapp.
"Especially, my upper-level classes. They really are like a little family. They have to trust each other to play with each other," she said.
One of her advanced classes is the last class of the day and many didn't log off of the online classroom on the last day before winter break and instead just wanted to stay together.
"They just wanted to keep talking with each other," said Trapp.
Trapp's music classes and the concert were both directed online without in-person interaction.
"Everything was being taught by distance," said Trapp. "There was a lot of learning experiences, both for the kids and myself.”
The songs were taught through each individual student's recording without having them in the context of the entire group, which was a challenge, said Trapp.
"One of the things that is hard for me is that I never got to hear the students together until the video was done," she said.
The group knew they couldn't provide the same "live concert experience," but Trapp said they still wanted to provide as good a concert as they could.
"I was more nervous for this performance than any I've ever done," she said.
In the end, though, she said the concert came together well.
"I was so proud of them. They did such a good job," said Trapp.
She gave the school's jazz choir a difficult number that was in Latin and an a cappella number, but they still wanted to do it.
"I wasn't really sure if they would be able to do it, but they worked so hard," and the song did come together, said Trapp.
This was the first time in nearly a year that Lakewood High School students were making music together.
"I'm an emotional person already, but to see them together again I just started to cry," said Trapp.
"I hadn't heard them sing together in so many months," she said.
Lakewood is a small, close-knit community, and many locals were glad to have the opportunity to see their kids again, said Trapp.
The concert's YouTube video has nearly 1,000 views currently.
"And we don't have that many families in the high school," said Trapp.
Trapp also wanted to thank district administration, which helped secure the necessary technology and computer programs, and other Lakewood teachers and staff who helped her out with audio and broadcast software.
"This whole thing wouldn't have come together without them," said Trapp.
"Lakewood is a special place … now more than ever we see how we take care of each other," she said.