Coon Rapids High School choir students meet in-person for unique event

On Monday, Coon Rapids High School choir students came together, socially distanced, in the school gym to share their voices and learn from a nationally known gospel singer.

For students, it was the first time many of them have been together in 10 months.

"Being here and being able to hear my choir singing with me has been fantastic, and I love it," said senior Lana Payeur.

"Today is the first time we have been together since way back in March, it’s really exciting, just really nice that we are all back together," added senior Makayla Sudue.

Joining the students in person, socially distance in the gym, are roughly 650 other students online.

All of them sharing their voices while learning from nationally known gospel singer Trey McLaughlin, who taught remotely.

"It was amazing even though he was over Zoom it was still really nice to get to learn from him," Sudue said.

It is an event that would have been done in person prior to the pandemic.

"The benefit of a virtual event is that we could all do it together versus where are we going to put 680 actual bodies, we didn’t have to worry about that, which normally we really do," said Choir Director Amy Johnson.

Johnson says the energy and excitement of the students being together was palpable

"For them it’s this real outward, ‘Hh my gosh I’m in a room and, I’m in a room with other people who are passionate about the same thing I am,’" she described.

In a year of unpredictability, these seniors are finding joy in the small things.

"This is the first time we’ve been able to wear our concert robes this year, and probably the last," Payeur said.

They are hopeful this can happen again

"It would be really nice if we kept doing things like this," Sudue added.