Latest Update From Alan Rowe

August 26, 2020
Dear NCC Singers,

This note was to have gone out about a month ago but I have allowed myself to be absorbed in the construction of our front porch, allowing us to properly (and safely!) entertain visitors. I hope you also have found projects and ways to distract yourselves from the ongoing limitations and restrictions that Covid has brought into our lives.

I was pleased to hear from those with whom I’ve spoke that the virtual Ogontz was a success. Besides the outstanding leadership of David and Paula, and the ”visit” with John Rutter, they also highlighted the satisfaction of connecting with other starved members in the choral world. And I am also continually impressed with those who are providing opportunities to sing through church choirs, and virtual gatherings.

The Academy started in-service this week in South Church Hall where they have removed the cushions due to the continual need for sanitizing them. I was struck by the ringing (improved) resonance of the sanctuary, imagining the time when we can do Considering Matthew Shepherd there. I am craving the chance to again hear a collection of voices in unison and harmony in such a space, and not through my computer speaker!

In our last board meeting, we discussed ways to engage our membership in activities that would help keep them connected and using their voices. I had proposed perhaps submitting octavos with recordings and piano accompaniment with periodic Zoom sessions simply to encourage singers and help learn a number of selections. We discussed inviting singers to submit recordings, a la virtual choirs, as a way for them to fine tune their vocal production.  Such independent work would allow us to accelerate preparation of a program of shorter works upon our return to in-person rehearsals.

As much as I wish to begin such an effort, I am finding that the demands of my job at this point require my total attention and that a September 8th launch of this proposed NCC project is a bit optimistic. I’m feeling now that it will be more like early October before I have a solid handle on the challenges of concurrent virtual and on-site teaching.

It has been bittersweet for me to be listening to some beautiful music, not knowing when we will again be able to share the choral experience with our audience and with each other. Though I know it will happen at some point, it’s clear that speculation as to when that will be, in our present circumstances, has proven to be futile. Suffice it to say that I continue to think of you always, with hope that you and your families are safe, and that you will be ready and willing to return when we get the “all clear”.

In the meantime, I will plan on introducing our interim choral activities in early October.

With my warmest thoughts,
Alan
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