by Jennifer Pallay
HAMMOND, Ind. (April 23, 2020) – Bishop Noll continues to prioritize its tenets of educating students in mind, body, and soul during this pandemic. The school quickly and successfully transitioned into a new e-learning environment and has even found new ways to address the needs of students outside of the classroom. One group that had to think outside the traditional classroom box was the Fine Arts Department.
Bishop Noll’s band and choir, under the direction of Rocco Carioto, recently teamed up virtually from their homes, using a conferencing app to put together a music video to Michael Jackson’s song “Heal the World.” The video was shared with Bishop Noll staff and families on Easter Sunday.
“I’ve had to be creative and learn on the job the best way to run rehearsals remotely,” said Carioto. “With the kids’ help and input, making the music video was a huge success. This also opens up an entirely new way of teaching and presenting music, which is very exciting.”
Bishop Noll band and choir students continue their rehearsals and performances via the virtual world.
Senior clarinetist Angel Trevino said he was skeptical it would work, but once students got used to the rehearsal process, it was great.
“Our music was shining a light for people that things will get better,” he said. “It proved we can persevere through anything,” Trevino said.
Senior choir member Griffin Gomez said the whole process was fun.
“I heard from many people who were amazed that our program was able to continue without skipping a beat, and they thanked us for lifting up their spirits,” Gomez said.
Although the spring band and choir concert scheduled for May 31 cannot take place in the school’s auditorium, a virtual concert will be presented on the Bishop Noll Fine Arts Facebook page the same day (May 31) at 6 p.m.
The Bishop Noll Drama Department, under the direction of Kayla Konkle, and its Art Department, under the direction of Jennifer Gwiadza, will also present theater performances and art galleries on the Bishop Noll Fine Arts Facebook page during Fine Arts Weekend May 29 through May 31.
Bishop Noll upgraded its technology infrastructure recently and was already two years into a 1-to-1 iPad program that allows every student to use his or her iPad to complete classwork in school and at home. Due to Noll’s vast technological resources, students and teachers were able to transition relatively seamlessly from classroom learning to remote e-learning on a regular weekly schedule when the school building closed in mid-March.
Although it might seem as though the world came to an abrupt and complete halt this past month, education has not been cancelled and the music has not stopped at Bishop Noll. No matter the obstacles today’s world faces, Noll’s students, faculty, and staff press forward each day with a positive attitude in an effort to continue the school’s mission of engaging students in quality education and activities for the remainder of the school year.