from Kevin Craik, President. The Coronavirus Shutdown has lasted a long time. A lot of our supporters and our singers are anxious to have our group singing again. I too am wanting to get back on stage and get the show going. However we are still in the pandemic shutdown and there is another major concern: Group singing spreads viruses.

In a recent article from the Los Angeles Times, it is noted that a choir rehearsal is responsible for several large outbreaks of the virus. They noted that from one rehearsal, 53 of 61 (87%) attending got the virus. That is a huge number. Because of how much singing can spread a virus, “experts advised choirs and performing arts groups not to gather again to sing in person until a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 becomes widely available, even if that takes two years or more.” Ouch! Given that much of our membership falls into “at high risk” categories, we need to heed this recommendation.

So that means our choir will probably not get together as a single group for a while. That also means we need to find other vehicles to “share the gift of song.” There is no doubt music can heal the spirit and given the events of 2020, our community needs lots of healing. We already know that we cannot sing during Artown next month. Most large venues won’t even be open because of social distancing restrictions. This will affect all performing groups including dance companies, acting companies, and of course singers. So how do we get our chorus singing again?

I’ve begun a virtual choir project. Some of you have seen them on You Tube. It looks so simple: Get videos of people singing a song (or playing instruments) and put it all together on a computer. Some folks think you can just get a group of singers together on a “Zoom” video meeting and just sing and record. Even in a perfect world, that doesn’t work because of latency with video and audio signals. It is a lot of work but so far it has been a lot of fun. I hope to have something posted on this website by July 1st (the beginning of Artown) so that maybe your Sierra High Notes can still be “sharing the gift of song” for yet another Artown festival. Until then, pray that a vaccine or treatment for Covid 19 comes soon and please know that our singers miss singing as much as you miss hearing us sing!

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