08 July 2020Share
At the start of 2020, ACU relaunched choirs on the Brisbane, Melbourne, North Sydney and Strathfield campuses. After only two weeks of singing, the coronavirus pandemic meant rehearsals had to be suspended indefinitely.
Choir coordinator, Timothy Sherlock, says there has been a global grieving for the loss of communal singing over the past few months. “Choirs around the world have been lamenting the loss of this powerful human activity, which under different circumstances can promote tremendous benefits for mind, body and spirit. This pandemic has compelled our choir conductors to devise ways of staying hopeful, finding joy and connecting through song in a range of creative opportunities.”
ACU Melbourne choir conductor, Dr Kathleen McGuire, and choir accompanist, Professor Tim McKenry, curated a virtual choir performance of the song Be The Change for their singers.
Our Melbourne singers recorded their individual parts while in isolation, submitting files to a central portal, and the below video of their efforts was produced by Technical Officer for the Faculty of Arts and Education, Amiel Matthews.
“It has been a truly collaborative effort and we are very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve while in isolation,” Dr McGuire says.
The Melbourne choir also benefited from regular Zoom 'check-ins' in place of on-campus rehearsals as a way of staying connected through the crisis.
Some of our Brisbane singers have been gathering outdoors and observing physical distancing to learn new song arrangements in order to promote a sense of hope and joy across the campus. This caught the eye of local newspaper, The Catholic Leader, who produced a news article about the singalong sessions.
Pastoral associate for staff at the Brisbane campus, Colleen Tracey, has enjoyed the opportunity to connect through song. “We’ve learnt two songs together and I’m excited that our conductor is teaching us an ABBA song at our next meeting!” she says.
Choir rehearsals will recommence in Brisbane, North Sydney and Strathfield in the week commencing 27 July. Melbourne rehearsals are pending and subject to ongoing developments regarding COVID-19.
The choir team is working hard to ensure the safety of our singers by preparing rehearsal spaces that allow for sufficient levels of physical distancing alongside a set of guidelines outlining health and hygiene measures and expectations.