Welcome to a new year, and yet another form of sharing choral music together under pandemic conditions. As you know, after our early encouraging experiments with in-person rehearsals COVID-19 has again shut us in – but it has not shut us down.
Until we can resume in-person rehearsals and hopefully re-organise around our usual pattern of meeting, preparing and performing, the Board has suggested I write to you each week with a little glimpse from the larger choral world, to keep us thinking about music – and about one another. I hope this tour of choral music from across my desk and around the world will inspire and connect us to this great organisation, and to the time when it will emerge once again singing.
You’ll hear from me every Monday with a clip and short note – but I’ll bet many of you have also seen beautiful and interesting choral music these many months on the Internet – send me a favourite and I’ll try to use it.
I could think of no better excerpt to share on this first “Director’s Desk” than this early virtual video offering by one of my other choirs, the Orpheus Choir of Toronto. Jocelyn Hagen is an innovative American composer/performer, and at Orpheus we were struck by the power of her simple wordless composition “Hands” at a time of disconnection and isolation. The video begins with first one, and then two soloists followed by shifting choral textures and pictorial images involving the part of the group that, like the GCS, managed to produce several virtual choir videos last season. The video ends in a neat effect where the choristers seem to be able to join hands, even though all were then, as they are again now, confined to their homes.
Enjoy “Hands” by Jocelyn Hagen, in a virtual video performance from November 2020 by the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, Artistic Director Robert Cooper, and soloists Gabrielle Turgeon and Dante Mullin-Santone. Video design and production was conceived and assembled by our Assistant Conductor Kai Leung.
See you next week,
P.S. Our recent friend from one of last fall’s GCS Live online sessions, Coco Love Alcorn, has recently announced the winter sessions of her “Wonderland Singers… visit her website here to look into her unique singing experience, that you can join from your home.