Music teacher Brenda Bernath at Carlton Comprehensive High School has put together a project to allow students in the school to share their musical talents for the holiday season. Carlton Celebrates Christmas recently debuted on the school’s YouTube channel and is another way to connect people through music in the pandemic.
“It just meant something to be able to reach out to people and offer them something for Christmas and the connection between the school and the community,” Bernath said.
This comes by connecting people with music and having the students inspire others and offers some measure of peace and comfort.
Bernath explained that she came up with the idea of inviting students to share their musical talents with others by submitting videos in order to create a little virtual program.
Students were invited by Bernath to submit a video of them performing a Christmas piece of their choice.
“What I did do is I reached out to students and just invited them to share their talents with our community if they felt comfortable doing so,” she explained.
Students who were hesitant to share were encouraged to make a little video of themselves performing a Christmas piece and then “gift it” to someone for Christmas.
“(It was) just to brighten their day and their holiday season. Christmas is going to be tough for a lot of people here and so I think if we can connect in any way we can is worth trying to do that with people,” she explained.
This will take the place of the annual Christmas concert in some small way, Bernath said.
“I just couldn’t imagine not having one. Being able to do it this way is better than not at all. And, in fact, we can reach more people this way because people can tune into it at any time and they can watch it multiple times.”
She understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on people.
“Christmas or not, people are finding it tough. It’s harder because it’s going to be Christmas, it was tough in the spring, it’s been tough all along for people,” Bernath said.
She hopes the video, which features 12 students will bring a little Christmas cheer for the holiday season not only for families, relatives and friends, but also for the people in our community and beyond.
According to Bernath, the videos were all recorded recently in student’s homes and students could select their instrument of choice
Bernath said that more than the 12 students involved wanted to take part but ran out of time.
“There will hopefully be another time yet and we’ll see where things go,” she added.
Another idea she has is to contact senior’s homes in Prince Albert to let them know about the project so they can share it with their residents.
This is the second time Bernath has collaborated with students remotely to share music.
“All of the virtual things that happened to keep music going were just really was powerful for me and so I wanted to do something similar which is why I did the Carlton celebrates Music Monday in the spring and then just decided to do something like that for Christmas,” Bernath said.
“It was something after doing the project in the spring that just felt so natural as a continuation for the project for Christmas. It is hoping to keep music alive at a time when it’s difficult to keep some avenues of music going.”
Bernath hopes people include the video as part of their celebration this year.
“Celebrate virtually, everyone watches from their home — we can connect people and still offer some hope and a bright light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
“It’s just a way of giving back, which is what Christmas is all about,” she said.