Making Music Virtually

September 25, 2020

Riverhead High School jazz band teacher Crystal Crespo went on a mission to procure technological skills to ensure that her students could virtually show off their talents going forward.

Over the summer, Crespo enrolled in several music technology courses with the goal of learning how to combine audio and video into virtual performances.

“Ultimately, I wanted to give my students a sense of performance through this pandemic,” said Crespo.

After completing the courses, Crespo tested her new skills by gathering her former students, Riverhead alumni, teachers and some of her musician friends to create a virtual performance. Among those involved were Riverhead Director of Fine Arts Jason Rottkamp; high school students Lana Fusco, William Green and Jaida Schellinger; alumni Peter Falango, Danny Jones, Jessica Sisti and Dillon Wiggins; Riverhead faculty member Joseph Randazzo; and professional musicians Lisa Coles, Kevin Cordone, John DeRicco, Bill Valicenti, Omar Williams and Steve Witthoft. Also involved was Crespo’s son, Joshua Crespo.

Using specific video recording guidelines, all participants recorded themselves performing “Birdland” and sent it to Crespo, who used Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro X to layer the video’s audio. The result was a professional video that showcased all those involved.

“It was a great experience for all,” said Crespo. “This is just a reminder that music is not cancelled. It was great to feel a sense of performance together even though we are not together.”

Crespo plans to use what she has learned with her new students.

To view the video performance, visit: https://youtu.be/-MEoElpEU0Q.