Friday, May 28, 2021
The sector of Choral Singing has been particularly hard-hit by the Covid Pandemic. This is an art form that is intrinsically based on two Covidian no-nos: Gathering and Singing. Hundreds of thousands of choral groups all over the world were suddenly silenced in the midst of concert and tour preparations in March of 2020, due to some anecdotal evidence that singing was a dangerous activity, especially in close proximity to others. Since then, much research has emerged showing that social distancing, hygenic measures, mask wearing and social distancing can make singing no more a dangerous activity than any other. Although choirs have generally not been allowed to sing together in large groups, they have been extremely innovative in their approaches to continued music-making. This presentation will offer an overview of choral singing in the context of Covid, while concentrating on some of the innovative measures that have been taken to keep it alive and as vital as possible during this period. It will also feature examples of choral music that was recorded and released during total confinement, without the choristers being able to hear anyone but themselves. The results are quite striking! Be sure to view la Chorale Saint-Jean's performance of "Parlez-moi" in the on-demand section of University of Alberta programming.
- Laurier Fagnan, Professor, Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta