Before the coronavirus pandemic, we met every Tuesday evening for Choir practice; sopranos, altos and men closely side by side in rows, with Angela and John at the front leading us through two hours of wonderful songs. We now realise, more than ever, how marvellous it was to be able to gather together on Tuesday nights to sing; how beneficial such close human contact in this context can be. We miss each other and can’t wait until we can have normal Choir practice again.
When you are that close together in an indoor space, you can feel the harmonies resonate through you as you sing. You should be listening to everyone else as you sing to try to ensure your voices blend and produce a congruent, coherent and synchronized sound(with clear consonants! ). So many different voices, different tonal qualities and timbres are combined to produce a unique musical ‘voice’; the voice of a Choir. In other words, harmony.
Harmony connects us and creates bonds which remain even when we are not singing together. During Lockdown, Angela has been a driving force in helping us to maintain our harmonious bond. In addition to emails and telephone calls, we have been having two–hour Zoom rehearsals on Tuesday evenings and a Zoom sing-along song on Friday evenings. John has also been working incredibly hard with arrangements, recorded accompaniments and YouTube music practice parts for each section of the Choir. This keeps us busy between sessions. John plays for us on the Zoom sessions too.
We can’t actually hear each other sing – because of signal delays from each participant, the output cannot be synchronised. So we each sing along whilst muted on Zoom, with only the accompaniment and Angela to guide us. It can be quite chaotic, but it’s really good fun and we have made progress, learning some new pieces. It’s still a very precious time together. None of us can hear the Choir’s voice, we miss it and each other so much. But… we can still feel the harmony!