Our experiments to re-establish in-person rehearsals worked out very well, so we have decided to continue! Survey results from our members revealed that we have several people who want to only rehearse live, several who only want to continue online, several who want to do both, and others who simply want to wait until this situation ends and things get back to normal. To accommodate as many as we can we are alternating live and online rehearsals, which appears to be a unique approach.We will continue this as long as we have to.
We are still working on how to safely perform for our audiences, like we did several times a year before the pandemic. This is our next big challenge.
Probably what matters most during this time is that we can assemble, in various ways, to enjoy each other's company and sing for the sheer pleasure of it. We first got together around this cherished gift to each other, and we will keep it alive.
We are moving toward the dream we have had for so many months. After having been told that in-person rehearsals would be an acceptable risk for many of our member singers, we have made plans to include some live rehearsals this fall, alternating with online rehearsals. We are going to do our best to make the live rehearsals as safe as possible, while making it clear that they are completely optional. We continue to approach this in a way to maintain the inclusiveness we have always valued. This is definitely new ground as this strong community continues to finds new ways to stay strong into the future.
With vaccinations now prevalent in our area, increasingly optimistic numbers, and a possible near-future lifting of mask mandates in the state, there has been much discussion on returning to in-person rehearsals in the fall. That said, the situation remains complex, and the board of directors is in the process of determining how we can do this. We ask for everyone's patience until some important decisions have been made and we get things in order for this important change.
After nearly a year of not being able to sing together or perform in person, we continue as a strong community. Many of us are simply awaiting the time when we can get together. Several of us show up for occasional online social events. And a dedicated group of us show up every week for virtual rehearsals, where we learn new music in an online context. The most important thing is that we are moving on and eagerly awaiting a return to normal. We are happy to accept new members, which during this time do not need to be necessarily living in our area! We are happy to welcome anyone to our board meetings and encourage participation in upcoming fund-raisers.
Here we are, six months after suspending rehearsals in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, and our future is still uncertain. Many of us ache for for the simple joy of being able to sing again in the same room, and sing for our friends and families. But we take comfort that in our 15 years together we built a strong community, with personal bonds that can see us through this challenge. We are moving forward to our best ability.
Fall Season begins in early September, and will once again invite our singers (and anyone else!) to join us on Tuesday evenings for virtual rehearsals. These are gatherings on the Zoom platform, where we learn music virtually and visit with each other, sharing stories and jokes. Music selected to study this season will be a combination of old and new, and always interesting. We are also planning to create our first virtual video!
Share the word. We are still here and we are strong.
Although we remain physically apart as a safety measure in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, our community remains in regular contact, through weekly virtual rehearsals and robust activity on social media platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Recently an idea was floated to celebrate The Market Street Singers by releasing a video that was all about us. An audio recording of “I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud,” composed for us by Mitchell Fund, was combined with images of The Market Street Singers over several years in performance, in rehearsal, and at play. With this we resolutely say that we are still here, standing by and committed to our mission, and we remain strong.
Thanks to Kari Stromsland for preparing and editing this video.
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It is now over two months since we suspended rehearsals and postponed our spring concerts. We have managed to resiliently continue to meet weekly for virtual rehearsals and social time. Despite the uncertainly of the future we are attracting a steady number of people for these sessions, as we socialize, share stories, check in with each other, and continue to learn music for future performance projects. Though we are content with this for now, we dream about a joyous day ahead when we can safely assemble and sing our heart out to the community. We ask you to stay in touch with us personally, or through social media.
It has been over a month since we suspended rehearsals in response to social distancing orders needed to beat the novel corona-virus. We may be on break from in-person rehearsals but we are hardly inactive! Over the last weeks we have used the Zoom platform first to check in and socialize with each other, and now to work on some music learning, as well. The most important thing is that we are finding opportunities to continue to be a community.
And that’s not all. A team of hard-working volunteers have done huge upgrades to our web site, making it easier to edit and maintain, and easier to read on all devices. We have also started a project to release past performances on our YouTube channel (check those out here). We are hoping this will entertain our fans and keep our morale high. Although we are at a distance, we are very much alive as a group.
We are proud that we took steps to protect our people and their loved ones. We will continue to do what it takes to get through this challenging time. And when we can meet again, we will come together in joy, with lots of singing on the agenda.
Please stay in touch, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We are happy to report that for now we are doing well financially, but your contributions are always welcome and gratefully accepted (see DONATE) above.
Although I can’t help feeling sad about having to take the harsh steps of cancelling another month of rehearsals and postponing our May concerts, I keep reminding myself that we’re doing this for a greater good. I envision a time in the future when we can all congratulate ourselves for taking action and persevering through this difficult time. I think we will feel better about having taken steps to protect vulnerable people around us, as well as ourselves. We, The Market Street Singers, are fortunately a robust community with robust resources. We can do this. We can survive, and we can thrive.