BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Tri-M Music Honor Society at Governor Livingston High School has not let the challenges of performing during the pandemic stop them from delivering their annual music grams. 

In recent years, the band and choir collaborated on serenading the student body during the Valentine’s Day season. In 2020 they had planned to do it in March, but their plans were squashed by the lockdown. The students were excited to have it up and running again this February. 

The group created a socially distanced way to make each gram, while still manufacturing a high quality sound. Victoria Mauri, a senior member of Tri- M, said, “We [filmed] all of the videos individually and [combined] them to create each gram.”

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Each musician played their part while in the safety of their own home. Once each layer has been spliced together, the advisor and band director, Nicholas O’Sullivan, turned the recordings into private YouTube videos and emailed the links to the proper recipients. 

Tri-M member senior Emma Sylvester compiled the list of songs that buyers could choose from. “I personally picked out all of the songs based on what I thought would be popular for people in our age group, and I made sure that there was a good variety to choose from,” Sylvester said. 

These pieces ranged from classics like “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley to pop hits such as “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction.

Tri- M wanted to perform the grams this year to chip away at the loneliness many felt due to the pandemic. “A music gram is a very unusual and special gift that I hope will spark people into feeling more connected and cared for,” O’Sullivan said.

Syvelster said, “My favorite part about the music grams is the element of surprise. Many people don’t expect to receive a musical gram, but when they do it is a pleasant surprise that can brighten their day and make them feel special.” 

She added that the additional possibility of the sender choosing to be anonymous adds another fun layer to the process. 

Each music gram cost $5. All proceeds support Tri-M with their future endeavors, which includes the annual Relay for Life Cabaret. The honors society hopes to inspire the school community through their music one song at a time, regardless of what the world throws their way.