Singing at the Park was a success!
The space was perfect for a choir physically distancing. Each chorister basically had their own rock, and Lauren had little flags too to show what an appropriate distance would be. We could sit on the rocks or on chairs placed on the grass. It was very comfortable.
Most people wore masks to walk around, and for sign-in, but once we were in position, we could take them off and sing comfortably.
There are challenges singing outdoors. Sound doesn't work like it does indoors but kind of fades away, weakens with distance, and that was even more pronounced because we were standing far apart. Getting the right level of sound on the recordings was challenging (on top of the usual technical difficulties). And, we're used to hearing the people in our section all close by, and the other sections too. It was hard to hear other choir members. For that reason, we sang to concert recordings. That way, we could hear everyone in all the sections. We did sing to accompaniment recordings as well, to be the choir that was present, and it worked out okay. We were a choir again. Success!
The main goal was to feel like a choir again, to enjoy the music and each other's company, and it felt great. I loved seeing everyone wearing their biggest smiles, singing and talking and laughing (there were a few tears as well, so many emotions). I loved seeing you in person!!! I can hardly wait for August 30th to do this again!
The Town of Newmarket requires from us to have a safety plan for participants and the public. So, we let members know that masks should be worn where social distancing was not possible, members signed up for the event for contact tracing and provided a completed COVID screening. Screening was done online, by sending Jane your completed COVID form, or some people printed out their forms, and others had Victoria fill them out on the spot. Victoria signed everyone in as registration. Among ourselves we have good contact tracing and safety ensured. That's all good. Our only responsibility to the public was to remind them to keep socially distanced. We made signs to do that, and to say that it was a closed rehearsal of the YRCC. I also made an announcement. We didn't expect an audience, since it wasn't advertised as a performance, and was booked as a rehearsal. But, we had some fans come out to watch. Another fan was happy that they happened to be walking through the park and were able to stop and hear us sing. We had a flock of geese fly over us, and were happy to learn that we didn't need to fear that they would "bless us" because they don't do that when they're flying. One goose entertained us by walking across the middle row, almost joining as a soprano.
Big thanks to Lauren and Jane, who booked the spot with the Town, made sure we were following all the rules, and got the keys to the electrical box. Bit thanks to Blair who brought the sound equipment and also set it all up and found someone with a Bandaid (thanks to that person also) to fix the wobbly cord. Thanks to my daughter Victoria who helped make and transport signs and get everyone registered and COVID screened and then took pictures and video! Thank you to everyone who made everything work!
Monday, August 30th
Put that on your calendar. We're going to do this again. Victoria will be back in Ottawa, but we'll have someone else there to sign in everyone and maybe take some more pictures. We'll send the COVID forms again, and this time we'll have all the right cords to plug everything in. We'll pray for good weather again. The blue skies were certainly shining on us.
Here's a clip of us singing Blue Skies: