(This article has been submitted to local newspapers.)
The Serenata Singers, a community choir based in The Gap, entered 2020 with high expectations. The choir, which sings a variety of popular, traditional, spiritual and show tunes, is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary and, in addition to a packed concert schedule, had planned a special reunion function. It kicked off the year with a successful recruiting drive, but then, just as rehearsals were getting into full swing, the Covid crisis hit.
The Serenata Singers have been particularly hard hit for several reasons. Choir singing is a particularly risky group activity during a virus pandemic and there have been a number of cases of Covid outbreaks in choirs in the USA. Furthermore, a significant number of choir members are in the “high risk” category due to their age. Finally, the choir generally performs for people in retirement and age care facilities – visits to which have of course been curtailed.
As a result, all of the choir’s scheduled concerts for 2020 have been cancelled and it is unknown when rehearsals can recommence. We are holding out hope that we will still be able to have a 50th anniversary celebration of some sort and of being able to sing Christmas carols at selected venues.
Though 2020 has not panned out as expected, the choir has risen to the challenge – publishing a weekly email newsletter for members that contains links to various on-line performances, articles and activities, news and jokes; updating the choir history pages and rehearsal tracks on the choir’s website, and holding fortnightly Zoom rehearsals (which take a bit of ingenuity and patience to say the least).
The choir is looking forward to the future and expects to enter 2021 stronger than ever. If you can hold a tune and are interested in joining us, you would be most welcome. You can check out our website https://serenatasingers.org.au/ for news on when rehearsals are likely to recommence or drop us an email at email@example.com.
You can’t keep a good choir down. As an old hymn puts it: “how can I keep from singing?”.