CORONAVIRUS UTAH

High School Senior Asks UHSAA To Reverse Decision Moving Choir Competition Online

Feb 4, 2021, 10:57 PM | Updated: 11:21 pm

LEHI, Utah – A high school senior is asking the state’s activities association to reverse a decision to move the regional chamber choir competition online, citing sports competitions that are continuing in person.

Months into an unusual senior year of high school, Raine Martinez has held onto the thing she loves most about school.

“I always look forward to it,” she said. “There’s a magic that comes with being able to all sing the right notes and sing at the same time.”

Martinez is one of 26 members in the chamber choir, the elite choir at Skyridge High School. This school year, they were able to hold a Christmas concert with singers spread out and wearing masks at all times and limited audience members.

But weeks out from her chamber choir’s regional competition, Martinez is using her voice in a different way: taking a stand against the Utah High School Activities Association’s recent decision to move the competition online.

“It makes me upset,” said Martinez, who sees the move as evidence of UHSAA’s bias toward sports, which she pointed out, “don’t follow the social distancing standards and are without masks; such as wrestling where you come in contact with somebody else. And they just had a state competition for cheerleading.”

“It’s unfair that we’re being treated this way,” she added. “They just kind of disregarded us and were like, ‘Oh we’re going to make you virtual, so we don’t have to deal with you.’ They put us aside.”

In a statement to KSL, UHSAA officials called the move a “difficult decision.”

“The changes were made due to concerns over the event’s ability to comply with COVID-19 risk mitigation efforts in its traditional in-person format,” they said.

“They should give us that chance,” Martinez said. “Through such a hard time we need these things to keep us going.”

Martinez has since started an online petition to avoid missing out on a high school experience she said people in other activities have still been able to enjoy.

“I’m doing everything I possibly can,” she said. “Use my voice to let people know how I feel.”

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High School Senior Asks UHSAA To Reverse Decision Moving Choir Competition Online