Putting aside traditional cross-town rivalry, the CMR Chanteur Choir and Great Falls High School Delphian choir recently performed the song "O Love" by Elaine Hagenber - and they did it virtually.
We spoke with Patrick and Lynn Ryan, who are married to each other, and both choir teachers at the different schools. They said choir for these kids is a community.
"Our students are so used to being apart of a community-making process together every day, and now we can't be together. The essence of the choir is together," said Patrick.
"We do lots of collaborative work throughout the year. These choirs do sing together. One of the performances they missed out on was our musical school month performance to sing together, and we wanted to give the students an opportunity to make music one more time as something unique that they could remember from having school canceled or going through COVID," said Lynn.
Patrick added, "One of the great things about music, I think, is that it doesn't need to be competitive, and it's excellent. CMR and Great Falls High School, they have such a competitive spirit. But here, through the arts, we can be collaborative."
Patrick shared the following message on Facebook: "These two groups - the GFHS Delphian Choir & CMR Chanteur Choir - have been through a lot this year. These are two of the most talented and delightful groups of students I've ever had the joy of working with. It's been really difficult to not see their faces and work with their beautiful voices as we end the school year. We never even got to say goodbye. Amidst all this, they still found a way to make music together. Enjoy their performance of Elaine Hagenberg's 'O Love.' Thank you to Lynn Fransen-Ryan, piano; Ruth Johnson, cello; and Tess Birch, editor."