There’s light at the end of the tunnel!

light-end-tunnel

Hurrah! We have started a phased return to singing together! It has taken a huge amount of work for this to happen but we now have a small number of volunteer singers meeting at a temporary COVID-secure venue with Angela our Musical Director and John our accompanist so that at our Zoom rehearsals we can sing along with other voices to help us learn our parts. We have seen that other choirs, including big ones like the Halle Choir have also been taking similar steps towards singing together.

stockton heath

It’s so lovely to sing together again! There is much more work involved than for pre-COVID activities.  We need the venue for an increased length of time to allow for careful set-up/down with additional equipment and technology.  But it’s been worth all the effort because we have been able to take a really big step towards singing together safely.

We are keeping abreast of all the relevant regulations and guidelines to make sure that we are doing everything correctly and safely, including detailed risk assessments for our activities. We have new documents for Choir members to use – these are also available to view/download from this website by clicking on the title of the document.

It’s actually more time consuming and more expensive to run Choir this way than when we all met in a School hall before the pandemic, but Choir is not just about singing together. Our Community Choir is a source of support for all its members and in these difficult times, extra efforts have been made to support well-being and mental health of the members. We have a WhatsApp group, social media groups, emails and phone calls keeping us all together. We had no break from weekly Zoom meetings in the Spring term and only three weeks break in the Summer. Throughout Spring and Summer we had extra Zoom sessions on Friday evenings for a quick catch-up and a short sing-song. Remote Choir activity is so much better than no Choir at all; especially as many of our members are spending the pandemic in isolation; several are also separated from loved ones in care homes whom they are not permitted to visit. Life is certainly very hard for many of us at the moment and Choir makes a huge, positive difference. So far, we have not had to increase the cost of subscriptions, and we hoping to obtain a grant to help us with the extra expenses. We have started with plans for continuing with this phased return, but of course these will very much depend on the progress of the pandemic and the effects of changes to regulations. It does feel like it’s ‘one step forwards, two steps back’  much of the time, but it’s wonderful to report that we are moving in the right direction! None of this would have been possible without the massive amounts of work put in by John and Angela, and our volunteers and Committee. We are so lucky to have this commitment and dedication, and extremely grateful too!

 

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