Sebastian Gonzalez first sang a solo when he was about ten years old. It was the Christmas candlelight service at church. “I was nervous; I always had stage fright,” he says.
After a difficult year for music making, the school’s Spring Concert was a welcome sign of things returning to normal. This year has been especially challenging for music educators and student musicians who are accustomed to rehearsing and performing together. In fact, singing with others is one of the standardized learning outcomes that every music educator is striving to teach students as part of a music curriculum.
Mrs. Hazelrigg was forced to get creative with teaching music over Zoom. But with COVID numbers going in a better direction, the school was able to hold its annual concert and perform one of its traditional worship songs, Made A Way. Gonzalez was given the opportunity to sing the solo – an honor for any student.
As the choir stood ready to sing, they looked to Mrs. Hazelrigg to let them know the order of the songs (occasionally this changes per the whims of the veteran director). The concert was held outdoors, and the wind was howling in the overhead microphones. Hazelrigg had selected a number of pop and worship songs to perform at the end of a difficult year. The music was selected intentionally to encourage people.
“My family was really having a hard week,” Gonzalez says. “Some of them didn’t even know if they were going to make it to the concert.”
He was feeling nervous as he stood waiting for his time to step up to the microphone. But something else took over when he started to sing. The lyrics seemed to be speaking directly to him and his family.
“The words are about not knowing how you were going to get through a hard time, but God will make a way,” says Gonzalez. “The song really spoke to me on the stage in that moment. God is going to supply everything I need; he’s going to be there for me.”
This was Sebastan’s first year at BCHS. He has three years left, and he is really looking forward to live concerts and meeting new people next year. Next year, he will get to know people that he knew only at a surface level from seeing their face on a computer screen in a Zoom classroom. Next year, he will get to greet new choir members and make them feel like he did as a freshman – welcomed in to the BCHS family.