A New Way Forward: Rebroadcasting “And”
In the Summer 2020 issue of Chorus America's magazine, the Voice, we published a number of special features that highlighted the choral community's response in the wake of COVID-19. With in-person performances and rehearsals abruptly taken away, dozens of choral organizations showed their creativity by quickly finding new ways to make music and serve their communities.
Many ensembles have a rich library of recordings on which to draw while concerts are on hold—and several are repackaging them to bring added value for their followers to enjoy them in new ways.
Minnesota's ensemble for LGBT singers and straight allies, One Voice Mixed Chorus, re-broadcast one of its productions of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Pirates of Penzance, introducing a new element. To supplement the show, One Voice conducted interviews with performers and stage director Gary Briggle, airing the entire newly repackaged production live on YouTube and Facebook on April 15.
In place of its traditional biennial performances of Handel's Messiah, the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square streamed a performance of the iconic oratorio on Good Friday. The Tabernacle Choir has created a hub on its website where the performance can be streamed live or watched later on demand, and the page highlights plenty of resources and background information for enjoying the work, even including instructions for playing Messiah using Amazon's Alexa.
The Atlanta Master Chorale has highlighted past concert recordings in various forms, and on May 1 it streamed a mini-concert live over YouTube, with commentary from artistic director Eric Nelson woven between selections. The chorale also began a Monday Music Moment email series, showcasing one recording each week accompanied by written remarks from Nelson.
In a YouTube series, Vancouver Chamber Choir shared recordings from its three-volume CD set Music for Healing, highlighting ways that soothing pieces on this past release connect to the present moment.
After a standing-room-only live performance in March, the Cecilia Chorus of New York hosted an April 13 watch party for its recording of The Belshazzar Project, a multi-genre concert weaving together rap, country music, musical theater, and classical selections in five languages.
True Concord Voices & Orchestra music director Eric Holtan curated recordings by his ensemble and others to create weekly Spotify and YouTube choral music playlists that are designed to mimic the structure of themed concerts.
Santa Fe Desert Chorale started two weekly video series: Musical Memories, to highlight previously unreleased recordings from past performances, and Chorale Conversations, for the audience to learn more about the individuals who make up the Desert Chorale community.
The Thirteen created a virtual concert series, sharing past performances in their entirety on YouTube.
Voices of Ascension began a daily e-newsletter called Voices of Connection, sharing a new choral recording from its archives each morning.