FRESNO, California. (KSEE) – Members of the Fresno County Youth Choir got to do something they haven’t done in almost two years, perform in front of a live audience.
“It’s great, I mean I haven’t performed, I mean in person in a concert since winter of junior year,” said choir member Sreeya Pedireddi.
These are members of the Fresno County Youth Choir, a group of high school and college students who come together every summer to sing and perform concerts up and down the state.
“Music is such a universal language that everybody understands it no matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, no matter how your feeling,” said Jordan Pulido, a member of the choir.
The COVID-19 pandemic took that experience away from them but when restrictions started to ease up, there was no holding them back.
“Once the Fresno County Department of Public Health said it was ok to sing together outdoors socially distant and masked we knew we were going to be together, said Fresno County Youth Choir Director Aaron Bryan.
They started rehearsing for their upcoming performances in June in triple-digit temperature outside at a parking structure in downtown Fresno.
“I don’t really care where we are, I’m happy that we are all together, we’re all singing and we are all connecting with each other,” said choir member Nathan Guevara.
That connection and need to make music together was universally felt.
“You know sitting behind a screen really cuts you off from human emotion and human connection cause there is nothing like singing with people who also enjoy doing what you do,” said Samantha Arrellano, a member of the choir. “I really want to sing with people, I really want to sing with people and be in the same room instead of hearing it online.
When they did get to sing, in front of people in that downtown parking garage it was an emotional experience.
“Getting the spirit of music back in the room connecting with one another through that music has been, I think, healing for me personally and I think for many of the kids as well.”