Through the pandemic Kidderminster Choral Society has been determined to ‘keep calm and sing on’. After closing down rehearsals and cancelling their concert in March 2020, the choir locked down with the rest of the country for a few months. In June a few Committee Members decided that planning for the future was necessary if the Society were to survive.
What followed was a hive of activity to keep members connected and updated. Zoom, although great for connecting from afar, is not great for singing. If you’ve ever tried a birthday gathering, you’ll understand when trying to sing a round of happy birthday, the time lag makes it impossible! This did not deter the Musical Director, Geoffrey Weaver, who accompanied and conducted from home, with everyone on mute singing just to themselves in their own homes with his accompaniment only. It’s not great, but it worked.
Other activities to maintain the valuable sense of community within the Society included social evenings, newsletters, music quizzes and some inspirational talks from Geoff Weaver. The last of which was a fascinating insight into the life and music of Sir Edward Elgar, past President of Kidderminster Choral Society.
In September 2020 Covid restrictions allowed the choir to meet in a socially distanced and Covid-safe manner. Using Kidderminster Town Hall as a safe rehearsal venue, with screens between each singer and wearing face visors. These restrictions didn’t put off those who were determined to sing. Whilst rather reduced in number, the singers made up for this with the enthusiasm to sing together. During this time – with a break for the November lockdown, the choir rehearsed and then performed Faure’s Requiem for a recording and made a CD.
With the start of Lockdown 3, we knew we were in for a long road back to singing; although no-one anticipated quite how long. During the first months of 2021 Zoom rehearsals, talks and social events continued, even a Zoom Dinner in place of the annual dinner, with members dining at home in black tie along with entertainment and a music quiz.
Having cancelled five major concerts, including a joint concert with our German Twin Town Choir, the Society looks forward now to finally returning to rehearsals. Still in a Covid-safe way and very cautiously; rehearsals will start in September 2021.
It is hoped that these tentative steps back to rehearsal will lead to a performance in the Autumn once again with our beloved Elgar Sinfonia and Geoffrey Weaver conducting. Finally KCS will be able to sing together again!