High school choir performs virtually, provides hope despite coronavirus limitations


PUTNAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — They can’t meet in one place, but their music teacher is piecing together their voices to form an impressive product. 

It’s a message about dedication from an educator, and the power of music, in spite of any circumstance. 

A virus that’s taken lives, shut down cities and schools, cannot silence those voices inside. 

“Music is not canceled, and music is something that helps bring people together and can help spread hope and joy, even in difficult situations.” 

Emily Phillips is the choir director at Upperman High School. She and her students have created a virtual choir since school’s been canceled. It’s provided more than education and fun, it’s provided comfort. 

“We lost an upcoming eighth grader, she was in my middle school choir,” says Phillips. 

A student passed away in the March 3 tornadoes that devastated Putnam County. One of the songs Phillips and her students put to video, attracting 11,000 views, honors those lives. 

“The words of a song, if you listen to it, it’s just about saying goodbye,” she says. “And now with us saying goodbye to seniors, athletes who didn’t finish seasons, that song has meant a lot to us as well.” 

Posting a song every Friday, the most recent cut, titled Sing, has also struck a chord.  

“It doesn’t matter if your days are long, it doesn’t matter if your night’s gone wrong,” Phillips recites. 

 Because whatever we’re up against, music is there to heal, to make us happy. 

“I’m like just trust me, I’ll make it sound good,” Phillips recalls telling her students. “I’ll blend everybody together, and they’ve trusted me.” 

If you would like to see more of their work, follow the Upperman High School Chorus Facebook page.

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