Choir Concert turned true Choir Picnic

Choir Concert turned true Choir Picnic

The Lisle school district had permitted the choirs to have an in-person concert, and for much more comfortability it was decided that the concert would be held outside. No masks required, no need to sit in a cold auditorium. 

For many years, the annual Lisle Choir Picnic hasn’t been very accurate to its true definition. Always being inside, the Picnic has been more of just a concert. But now, with changes in permissions due to Covid-19, this first choir concert of the year took the word ‘picnic’ to its true level.

Jim Stellmacher, director of the high school choirs, said that students were involved with the decision. “There were some conversations with students about how we call it a picnic, maybe it should be outside like a picnic.”

This change in location, from an inside concert held in a gym to an outside one on an outdoor stage, was also influenced by Stellmacher himself. “Ever since I started walking over there and I saw that stage, I thought, ‘We need to use this.’” 

The Van Kampen stage, where the concert had taken place on Tuesday, October 5th,  is located right by the high school and is an incredible resource that was finally used by the school district thanks to the relationship the school and park district have, as Stellmacher claims. 

The initial prompt for a change in location for the concert was due to Covid-19. Choir, like many other school activities, was heavily impacted by the pandemic and quarantine. Students had to have class over Google Meets, making rehearsing as a group incredibly challenging. 

But despite the seemingly endless negatives, Stellmacher was able to seize that unfortunate situation and turn it into a positive. 

“We’ve done a lot more in music literacy, making sure that students can read music and sight-read faster so we can get through more music,” Stellmacher explained. 

While Covid-19 has greatly impacted music and choir in a negative way, such as no concerts or in-person performances and practices, it has certainly allowed the opportunity for change. 

Stellmacher saw his opportunity to improve his choirs and took it. “Covid allowed us the time and space to focus on some of those skills. It’s created a lot more challenges, but it’s also unexpectedly opened up some opportunities.”