In Idaho, a children’s choir found an innovative solution to Covid-19 restrictions when it came to their Christmas music concert. Because the choir could not convene in person, the Rexburg Children’s Choir director found another way to spread Christmas cheer. Ben Watson decided to use a green screen to film a music video for “For Unto Us a Child is Born.” He had 100 children between ages 10-17 years old come into a studio separately. He conducted each child to sing their parts of the song in front of the green screen. Then he was able to edit the individual videos to make it seem as if the children were all singing together in front of a beautiful church. The whole process took about seven hours.
Mr. Watson wanted to take all of the necessary Covid-19 precautions, particularly since he lost his brother to the disease. Mr. Watson returned from his brother’s funeral mere hours before beginning the filming project. “My hope is that this video will help encourage choral directors around the world. Many have been frustrated at the lack of options and ideas to keep singing alive in their schools and communities. With the power of recording technology — both visual and audio — choral music can continue pressing forward despite the challenges of our day,” says Watson.
Originally a part of Handel’s Messiah, the song was arranged especially for the choir by Tim Sharp, the executive director of the American Choral Directors Association. Mr. Sharp said that the project “is a testimony to the human spirit and an example of creativity and ingenuity,” Sharp says. “I could not be more proud of each and every young singer in this performance, and for the producers who have demonstrated how we can keep singing in creative and inspiring new ways.”
It has been a tough year for many, including Mr. Watson and his family, but the creation of this video will hopefully bring joy to many through the power of technology.