Westby High School’s choir bringing joy to people online

WESTBY, Wis. (WXOW) – Peter Engh, the Choir Director for Westby Middle and High School, is keeping the music alive during the pandemic.

Because of COVID, Westby High School’s choir can’t hold concerts or musical performances, so Engh has taken it upon himself to showcase his students’ talents online.

Emily Bender, Joseph Roethel, and Izzy Neiland are choir members. They said they speak on behalf of all the students, that choir class is more like a family than schoolwork.

“Choir is pretty much my family. I spend so much time with these people,” Bender said. “We are all here for one goal, and that’s to make something sound beautiful. Nothing can top a feeling like that.”

“Sometimes you just need to block out the rest of the world and do something that helps to calm you down and do something fun,” Roethel said. “Choir is that for me, it is relaxing.”

Students believe Engh does more than teach music. They said he inspires them to believe in themselves.

“I think music is special because everyone is working towards one common goal, and it’s amazing when you reach that,” Neiland said. “Hearing the music we make overtakes me, and it is beautiful.”

Engh hosts virtual choir lessons online for students who are no able to attend an in-person class. Engh has worked as an educator in music for 28 years.

“I believe music will help kids and people get through this pandemic,” said Engh.

He said he had performed music himself over 300 times on Facebook.

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