I saw a funny cartoon the other day which depicted a man lying on a psychiatrist's couch saying, "I just wanna know who to blame!" This blasted COVID 19 situation can really make you feel that way sometimes. We all just want it to go away and we yearn for life to return to normal. The many conversations about a vaccine sound promising and I hope at least one of them proves effective against this virus. Only time, and solid clinical trials, will tell.
Some interesting developments have surfaced across the chorus community. On the national and international level, The Los Angeles Master Chorale, one the bellwether choruses in the US, has postponed their entire 2020-2021 concert season while the London based professional chorus, VOCES8, kicks off a new series of live choral performances beginning tomorrow afternoon. Use the following link https://voces8.foundation/livefromlondon to find out more about these performances.
On the local front I've had conversations with Randy Jordan, director of the Arlington Master Chorale, Harry Wooten, director of the Irving Chorale, and Kendall Carter, director of the Frisco Chorale, and we all are experiencing the same challenges and concerns within and without our groups. Each chorus performs in various churches and performance halls, none of which have provided any consistent guidelines for reopening this fall. We discussed the possibilities of outdoor performances and right now it's simply too hot but that might be a longer conversation this fall. The greater challenge still remains finding suitable and safe rehearsal space. As singing is still classified as a "super spreader" event, much like a bunch of sports fans in a stadium, choirs are routinely excommunicated from any artistic revival plans altogether, and that is the most heartbreaking part of all of this.
I know that there are a lot of people with great minds and hearts out there working hard for solutions to the community singing dilemma. London based composer and former King's Singers Bob Chilcott, is a strong advocate for the cathedral choir tradition, which has been decimated across Britten. Bob, and many others like him are on the forefront of finding immediate solutions in keeping the choral tradition alive and well. Please join me in my prayers for choral music. Singing revives the soul and because of its communal nature, links our community together like no other art form.
North Texas Giving Day will soon be here and PCC will again participate in a variety of ways. I've attached a letter from President Bob Koehl which will provide you some updates on this year's campaign. NTGD is truly important right now as PCC has no ticket income at all and most likely will not until January 2021 at the earliest. Have a look at Bob's letter and let us know what you think. There are several ways you can participate, many of which require very little time commitment.
Here's a great memory from many years ago.
Enjoy, and have a great weekend!
Ralph F. Stannard
Plano Civic Chorus, Artistic Director