Christmas Carols in November

The annual St. Bernard’s Carols, where the entire school community gathers in the Church of Heavenly Rest to sing in celebration of the holiday season, cannot be held this year for obvious reasons.  But never fear, the Music Department has come up with a fabulous idea to continue this treasured tradition in a safe way.

The Music Department, along with the school archivist, are putting together a compilation video of past Carols, remembrances from former faculty and Old Boys, and virtual “Zoom” choirs made up of current students and Old Boys.  As one can imagine, this is quite a lot of work, and the team got started in September.   

Recent Old Boys were invited to join in a virtual rendition of God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen.  Ms. Fiscus in the development office mailed out special “St. Bernard’s Singers” ties to participants all over the map - one Old Boy will be singing in Paris. 

Current students are submitting videos of themselves singing or playing an instrument at home, while listening to an audio track of Mr. Risinger on the piano.  He and Ms. Fertel will then spend hours putting together the hundreds of recordings into a virtual choir.  

This afternoon, right before school lets out for Thanksgiving, Grade V will do a recital of Luke II: 8-14.  The boys will be performing on the recess desk which allows for the boys to be safely spaced apart.  A terrific film crew will capture the production.  

And finally, the Carols wouldn’t be complete without the Friendly Beasts.  Six 3rd graders performed their carol in the teaching theater.  Covid guidelines were followed to a T and therefore the boys could only sing individually to an empty theater (save the video camera), while the rest of the beasts waited quietly in the hall for their turn.  The magic of film editing will bring the boys together.

Ms. Fertel and Mr. Risinger continue to pull off the most amazing Carols each year, and luckily for us, this year will be no exception.  It will certainly be a heartwarming way to end a difficult year.  The video recording will be released at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 17.  Please stay tuned for more information.