On March 12, 2020, we met for our regular rehearsal at Universal Unitarian Fellowship of Ames. Earlier that week, ISU announced that Spring Break, scheduled to begin the following Monday, would be extended to a two-week timeframe as cases of Covid-19 spread.
That night, the Board decided we would take two weeks away from rehearsals with hopes to reconvene on April 2. But our next in-person rehearsal ended up being well over a year later – May 6, 2021. It was a long time to go without singing together
Once we surrendered to the fact that the pandemic would not allow for a spring performance in 2020, we started brainstorming how we could continue to make music for our 2020-2021 season. When fall came, members were emailed music to print at home along with a Zoom link. We split into sectionals and had 4 separate rehearsal meetings, 20 minutes each. During rehearsals, each singer was muted while Dave conducted. You could hear yourself, but no other singer. There was no harmony or tuning. It was hard, but we were committed to keeping the group together as well as providing a musical product to our audience.
We would record a handful of pieces as our fall program. Each member received an accompaniment track along with a video of Dave conducting the piece. We recorded our own voice part and submitted our individual track to Dave and Chris Johnson, who compiled them into one track.
In December 2020, we released our Petite Pandemic Program to the public. There was an immense pride that our group was able to produce a program of choral music in such adverse conditions and with the most basic of equipment. This program can be found at any of the links on the Our Music tab.
In January, we continued our rehearsals in much the same fashion with the hope that we might be able to have an in-person performance by May. While a live concert didn’t happen, 19 singers met, masked, on May 15th, and made one, live recording. Stay tuned for the release of that program.