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Yuma High choir performs virtual rendition of ‘Alma Mater’

During the final months of the 2020-21 school year, Yuma High School Choir Director Kaden Chapman and his students went on a quest to bring back the glory of the school’s Alma Mater.

“After much detailed research, I found that Yuma High School does not have a recording of the school song (Alma Mater),” Chapman said. “I then went on a quest to find a music score of the Alma Mater to which after hours of digging in my choral library I found. After rearranging some harmonies, while keeping the melody and lyrics completely intact, I had an arrangement ready to put in front of my students. It was ultimately decided to make a virtual choir of the Alma Mater in order to continue our observance of COVID-19 protocols as well as to finally have an official recording of the school song. I am immensely proud of the work my students put into this recording during this ongoing pandemic.”

The song can be heard on Yuma Union High School District’s YouTube page (youtube.com/YUHSD) or by clicking here. All of this was accomplished virtually. 

Chapman explained: “The effects of Covid-19 on student learning and teacher instruction has been a challenge for every student and every teacher in every subject. COVID-19 has been especially challenging for those of us operating in the performing arts. Social distancing, masks, no social gatherings, and limits on rehearsals have taken away the most essential aspects of our trade and create seemingly insurmountable obstacles for students to overcome. With a vast majority of my students being new to a musical ensemble, let alone choir; the effects of COVID-19 in my class have been especially prominent. I wanted to give the students a project that would make them proud of who they are and where they came from. Something that made them feel a part of something bigger than themselves. When I found the school Alma Mater tucked far behind all the other music, collecting dust, unseen for perhaps years, lost to time; I immediately decided this was the song I wanted to challenge my students with. We started rehearsing the song in March and here two months later my students have exceeded high beyond those insurmountable challenges.”

 

Eric Patten
epatten@yumaunion.org