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Seeing the signs, the music goes on in Montville

COVID-19 has silenced their voices but the tune carries on for Montville choir.

MONTVILLE, Conn. — The choir at the St. Bernard’s school in Montville has a proud tradition of performances and concerts but, this year, due to the restrictions of the coronavirus, their collective voice has largely been hushed.

Without being able to perform in front of the usual big crowds – or even sing all together – the choir has become even more creative, they have turned to sign language.

Accompanied by pre-recorded music, the choir has created a video of the song “Say Something” by artist A Great Big World where they sign all the words.

The song is meant to touch not just the hard of hearing community but anyone during this difficult time.

St. Bernard’s junior student and member of the concert choir Emma Lemire learned sign language in 5th grade and taught her peers the song.

“It was definelty a good effort and I was lucky enough to teach it,” Lemire said.

“It’s had a really big impact on the choir,” she added.

Music Director Anne Halloran Tortora said this year has been challenging for the choir but that her students have triumphed through the trials of COVID-19.

“Music is the great unifier,” Tortora said. “It is absolutely the tie that binds us all.”

T.J. Ward, a senior in the St. Bernard’s Concert Choir said of his experience with sign language, “we’ve all been effected by this pandemic, I think this song just is something that can resonate with everyone and it’s just powerful.”

Click here to watch the choir’s music video.