The performing arts are starting to resurface and both audiences and musicians are delighted with the prospect of getting out and enjoying all that music, drama, and dance have to offer. So it is with St. Peter’s Chorus who is able to regroup in preparation for an upcoming concert. May 1 is the date for a springtime concert in recognition of Earth Day.
Choral director Maxine Moore says that the two year layover was trying for singers who looked forward to regular performances, but there’s an excitement in their return.
“Everybody was so pumped and excited to gather with each other. We are from different communities and so its been a long time since we’d even seen each other, much less being able to gather and sing together.”
While pandemic restrictions prevented gathering, the members kept up their musical chops with rehearsals and performances over Zoom.
“We had people contribute to our Zoom efforts, so it really was quite a learning experience,” Moore says. “I think it just kind of connected us and kept us in touch with each other, but it’s definitely not the same as gathering live.”
The Zoom performances are akin to being in a recording studio as opposed to performing live in a concert venue which places completely different demands on singers’ voices. Given the time off from performing, Moore says that ramping up to performance level once again presented its own challenges.
“We went very carefully, and one of the first things I said to the group is that it’s been a long time since you’ve been singing. Don’t feel you have to overdo it vocally because you’re going to wreck some vocal cords.”
That rebuilding has involved a slower ramp up and more warm ups that might happen in other circumstances. The group assembled once again in February once restrictions permitted, with masks and social distancing. Rehearsals continue with distancing in mind. In spite of the complications, Moore says the group is back with “some really nice sounds going.”
The May 1 performance will have a variety of elements appropriate to events of the season and of the day, says Moore.
“It’s kind of an Earth Day themed concert; our opening song is for the beauty of the Earth, celebrating the world that we live in. There’s songs about nature and God’s creation.”
Moore says the group is working on an added performance that serves as an acknowledgement to the plight of the Ukrainian people in their own country.
“A good number of us are of Ukrainian background, and we’d like to do something just to acknowledge that this is a terrible thing that’s happened to that country.”
The concert will be held at St. Augustine Church, a suitable venue for a concert that pays spiritual reverence to the Earth and its bounty. Details on times and tickets will be coming in the days ahead.