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Don't Miss "Inspirational Voices: A West Orange Choral Festival" Virtual Concert Feb. 25

West Orange, NJ – Get ready to be uplifted as chorus students and staff from Grades 6-12 present “Inspirational Voices: A West Orange Choral Festival,” debuting virtually on the You Tube channel on Feb. 25 at 7:00 pm.


Music/Chorus teachers Bonnie Pomeroy (EMS), Craig Sanphy (LMS), John Hellyer and William Farley (WOHS) discussed the upcoming virtual concert. Hellyer served as the primary spokesperson.



“One good thing that has come out of the pandemic is that the five of us have worked together more and gotten to know one another better. The situation necessitated resource sharing,” began Hellyer.


As a result, the group decided that without actual chorus concerts this winter that they would do a showcase that included grades 6-12.


“We wanted to make it an inspirational concert that would lift people up,” Hellyer remarked.


Each group will be performing one song, with performances by the Edison Choir, the Edison Singers, Liberty and Roosevelt Middle Schools Seventh and Eighth grade choruses, and the West Orange High School Tenor/Bass Choir, Treble Choir, Concert Choir, Honors Chamber Chorus, Glee Choir, and Jubilee Choir.


Look for two special songs, one featuring the musical stylings of  Superintendent Dr. Scott Cascone backed by the Tenor/Bass Choir, and the closing number that partners the music teachers with the Honors Chamber Choir. Some songs will use tracks and others accompaniment.




“My goal when I began working in the district was to supercharge the relationship between Liberty and the high school,” noted Sanphy.


There have been several concert collaborations between middle and high school students, and with the success of this year’s virtual concert the community can expect to see more partnerships moving forward.


“It’s been challenging to figure out the balance between “being in school” and trying out new ways to work with our students. The most important thing I want for the students is keep them loving music,” Sanphy stated.


“My goal is to keep them singing,” added Pomeroy.


“Performance is as important as learning,” explained Hellyer, “and the majority of kids are enthusiastic.”


The concert was filmed using Flip Grid and will be edited by District Media Technician Lauren Grof-Tisza.


“I taught my students how to split their screen, so one side would have me singing and they could record themselves on the other,” said Edison Middle School’s Music and Chorus teacher Bonnie Pomeroy.


For the high school, Hellyer recorded tracks of the students’ parts to rehearse with. The staff downloaded WE Video to help with their efforts.


“We can see how continuing to use this type of technology will be helpful, especially in assessing students for grades and utilizing it once we go back to actual concerts,” noted Hellyer.


Check the website on Feb. 25 for the concert link, which can be viewed any time after its debut at 7:00 pm. See the program below for more information.



Inspirational Voices: A West Orange Choral Festival




Edison Choir : “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen

                                                                Music & Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

                                                                Arranged by Mac Huff

Edison Singers: “Walking in the Air” -Theme from The Snowman

                                      Music & Lyrics by Howard Blake



LMS 7th Grade Chorus - “The Never Ending Story”

LMS 8th Grade Chorus - “Over the Rainbow”



RMS 7th Grade Chorus - “Seize the Day” from Newsies

RMS 8th Grade Chorus“I’ll Be There”



Tenor/Bass Choir - “Stand by Me”

Music & Lyrics by Ben. E. King


Treble Choir - “Both Sides, Now”

Music & Lyrics by Joni Mitchell, arr. by  John Leavitt


Concert Choir - “Rise Up”

Music & Lyrics by Cassandra Batie & Jennifer Decilvio

 arr. by Mac Huff


Concert Choir/Tenor & Bass Choir/Dr. Cascone - “You’ve Got a Friend”

Music & Lyrics by Carole King, arr. by Mac Huff


Honors Chamber Choir - “How Can I Keep from Singing?


Glee Choir - “The Color Purple” from The Color Purple

Music & Lyrics by Allee Willis, Brenda Russell, Stephen Bray


Jubilee Choir - “ We Are the World”

Music & Lyrics by Michael Jackson & Lionel Richie


Honors Chamber Choir & Teachers - “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”

by Peter Lutkin



Dr. William Farley, WOHS director 

Mr. John Hellyer, WOHS director

Ms. Bonnie Pomeroy, EMS director

Mr. Craig Sanphy, LMS director

Ms. Colleen Martin, RMS director

Ms. Hannah Park, MSU student teacher


Cynthia Cumming
Feb. 19, 2021