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Together but Apart in ‘Havana’ – with the Conard Solo Choir

Conard Solo Choir performs 'Havana.'

The members of the West Hartford’s Conard High School Solo Choir have recorded their second virtual performance, an energetic rendition of ‘Havana’ with some amazing solos included.

A Conard Solo Choir performance with the Highline Vocal Jazz in October

By Ronni Newton

Havana, ooh na-na …” 

The rhythmic vibes of the Conard Solo Choir latest recording provide an escape from quarantine, and an escape to a warm and sunny place. “Havana” was just released this week on YouTube.

“‘Havana’ was put together in much the same way as our first virtual choir, and was voted by the singers to be our next virtual [piece] after we finished our first one,” Choral Director Sam Eurich said.

The students recorded separate audio and video tracks, and sent them to Eurich. He then used Logic Pro to mix the audio files, and then synced the videos with the audio track through Final Cut Pro.

The recording includes solos by Benjamin Petkaitis and Stephanie Reuning-Scherer.

The Conard students were already familiar with the piece, having learned it as Solo Choir homework last summer, Eurich said, and they immediately began rehearsing it when the school year started last fall.

They were able to collaborate with the arranger, Mark Farnum, and New York City-based Highline Vocal Jazz, for a concern in early October at Bethany Covenant Church – which is where the photo of the group together was taken.

Two of the founding members of Highline Vocal Jazz, Alyssa Venora and Jared Graveley, also have roots in West Hartford, Eurich said. Venora graduated from Hall High School in 2013, and Graveley was a member of Conard’s Class of 2013.

The Conard Solo Choir’s first virtual performance was a recording of “Unclouded Day,” and before the school year ends there will be another song released. The Hall High School Choraliers have also produced a recording of a virtual performance, of “The Road Home,” and are at work on two more.

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