Bronx Science’s Chorus Goes Caroling

Carolers+from+Bronx+Science%E2%80%99s+Chorus+spread+the+holiday+spirit+by+performing+festive+songs+for+their+peers.+

Alexander Thorp

Carolers from Bronx Science’s Chorus spread the holiday spirit by performing festive songs for their peers.

Christmas caroling originally dates back to 19th century Victorian England, when people first started traveling to neighbors’ homes during the holidays and wishing them good health. This was the origin of the word “wassail” and songs such as ‘Here We Come-A-Wassailing,’ which came to mean just that. Later, church carols and Christian folk music combined to create today’s Christmas carols, and a beloved new tradition emerged.

This year, Bronx Science’s very own chorus started an initiative to go caroling around the school. During third period, when chorus class usually takes place, they visited different classes in small groups to sing popular Christmas carols, including ‘All I Want For Christmas is You,’ ‘Seasons of Love,’ ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Feliz Navidad.’ The chorus only went to classes in which they were invited in by the teachers, since they didn’t want to disrupt any classes that were taking tests.

Jean Namgung ’20 came up with the idea this past year. She launched the process of approving the idea from start to finish, first by suggesting the idea to her chorus teacher Mr. Paul DeSilva, then by participating in meetings with the Assistant Principal of the Languages and Arts Departments, Ms. Lisa Rocchio, and finally by performing as a caroler. “Our chorus thought it would be a great idea to carol around the school as a way to bolster our holiday spirits before winter break and encourage students to join chorus! It’s been a bit hectic organizing everything, but I’m so happy with how far we’ve come along in the short amount of time that we had,” Namgung said.

Other chorus students were just as excited about the idea. Naomi Liu ’22 said, “I think it’s a good way to lift the holiday spirit in our peers.” Labiba Islam ’22 agreed, saying, “Everyone needs this, as December is stressing everyone out.” Listening to peers sing familiar festive tunes provided a much needed break from rigorous classes during the high-stress weeks before Mid-Winter Recess, allowing students to relax and enjoy some lively music for a few minutes before resuming their hectic school schedules. Calm and happy students have proven to be more receptive to classroom material, and they do better on tests as well, so perhaps the Christmas caroling initiative helped with students’ performance in classes too.

Anna Ye
Chorus Christmas carolers sing the well-known carol, ‘Hallelujah.’

Students performing the carols and students listening to them alike have all enjoyed the two days of festivity. Shitian Chen ’21 said caroling was “very fun and a great way to spread the holiday spirit.” When visited by the carolers during her third period Pre-Calculus class, Montana Lee ’21 said, “I love the holiday season with all my heart. I believe that Christmas music is the best way to get into the spirit and fully enjoy the holiday, so having the carolers sing for my class really lifted my spirits.” Ellora Klein ’22 also said, “They were so talented, and getting to listen to them was really nice. They really exceeded my expectations.”

The new chorus Christmas caroling initiative has boosted school and holiday spirit, relieved student stress, and improved the overall morale of the Bronx Science community, helping them push through the last few days before winter break. Perhaps years from now, students will look back on the chorus Christmas caroling in 2019 as the birth of one of Bronx Science’s very own beloved winter holiday traditions.

“Our chorus thought it would be a great idea to carol around the school as a way to bolster our holiday spirits before winter break and encourage students to join chorus! It’s been a bit hectic organizing everything, but I’m so happy with how far we’ve come along in the short amount of time we had,” Namgung said.

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