World Music Day set to take place after months of practice

Antonio Bedon

COVID-19 has put a hold on many shows and live concerts but the students at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School aren’t letting it stop them from doing what they love: playing music.

This year’s World Music Day concert will look a little different than the previous years. For one, it won’t be a live show. This year’s World Music Day is a recorded session that can be viewed on March 24 at 7 p.m. on Zoom (click here to get the link). Like every year, World Music Day will have a theme and this year’s theme is about hope and togetherness as the world gets through these hard times. Due to challenges with performing during distance learning, WMD was postponed from December all the way to March.

“We wanted more time to work the material to put on a show that we are proud of,” music teacher Wes Hambright said.

This year’s WMD consists of approximately 15 pieces that are being performed that include videos which were pre-recorded at home. Since WMD needs to be performed asynchronously, this year’s performance is a collaborative effort between Hambright’s musical students and video production teacher Mark Middlebrook’s Pearl Net News staff, who are editing  the performances into one show. 

Despite the setback, Hambright is confident in his team of musicians and says that they have new energy with the new year and are prepared to put on a great show. DPMHS has a long lived tradition of putting on a musical concert composed of student musicians who play a large variety of instruments. Hambright takes these young artists and teaches them how to perform with passion.

World Music Day is usually held in October to honor the birth of journalist Daniel Pearl. The worldwide event, sponsored by the Daniel Pearl Foundation, is a month-long celebration of music and cultures. 

Students weren’t sure if they were going to be able to perform this year due to the novel coronavirus and remote elearning. But as they say in show biz “The show must go on.”  With this year’s World Music Day being pre-recorded new struggles have presented themselves.

“The biggest challenge has been getting an engaging musical experience out of this socially distanced environment,” Hambright said.

Senior Melanie Gonzalez  will be performing in her last WMD this year. She loves to play music and loves performing. Gonzalez  sings and plays the ukulele and the guitar. This year she will perform “Como soy” by Manu Manzo and is a part of a group of students performing “Keep Holding On” by Avril Lavigne. She’s just grateful that they were able to have World Music Day this year. Not only was planning for WMD really tough, but practicing was near impossible.

“We did practice through Zoom which has been a bit difficult,” Gonzalez said. 

Zoom has a tendency to lag and glitch out and this can really hinder musical performance and practicing, especially when music is all about being on beat and timing. Through trial and error the great musicians at DPMHS were able to come together.

“We got through it and have been pulling our pieces together,” Gonzalez said.

Along with Melanie Gonzalez,  junior Alex Gomez will be playing guitar for the songs  “Prom Queen” by Molly Kate Kestner and  “Always Forever” by Cults. He will also be singing “Yesterday” by The Beatles. 

“Another challenge is playing online because in person we can develop chemistry with each other while playing, but through online it’s much more difficult,” Gomez said.