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News from Chorus Niagara in St. Catharines, Ontario
Posted June 2nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large
Chorus Niagara Children’s Choir (CNCC) wraps up its 2019-2020 season on a virtual stage. The end of the year presentation will air as a Facebook Watch Party on Sunday, June 14th at 3:00PM on the CNCC Facebook Page.
This presentation, a stand-in for their spring concert originally planned for May 18, will conclude two months of online choral programming offered to young singers since the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools and cancelled in-person choral events.
We knew this situation would be very difficult for the kids, and we wanted to do everything we could to keep the connections they made through our music program going, said Amanda Nelli, Artistic Director, CNCC. Even though we weren’t able to hear each other properly on the ZOOM platform, they could still see each other, talk about how they were feeling, and engage musically.
Keeping young choristers engaged is a considerable challenge during the pandemic, but the CNCC staff tried to provide an enriching experience for their choristers. Virtual theory and sight singing lessons, weekly Zoom rehearsals, and participation in a series of musical events have helped to keep the choral community alive for CNCC members.
CNCC members participated in the Bravo Niagara! AMPLIFIED project “We are the World”, providing their vocal talents along with the likes of Measha Brueggergosman, Quincy Jones protégé Emily Bear and long-time Paul Simon bass player Bakithi Kumalo.
CNCC members will also hold a virtual Coffee House for their group, at a later date, to celebrate each other’s talents, with vocal solos, instrumental performances, jokes, and more.
As much as we are sad to not be able to rehearse together in person, this time has allowed us to be creative with our programming and offer virtual events like our upcoming Coffeehouse Talent Show, said Jennifer McKillop, conductor, Intermediate, and Training Choirs. We will hear performances from many of our talented choristers as they sing solos, play instruments, and delight us with jokes and poetry through Zoom. We love staying connected and feel that it’s important to continue fostering a love of music knowing the joy that it brings to our choristers.
I’m really happy that CNCC carried on with this new format as best they could, said Devry Skiba, a volunteer parent, whose daughter Lily is a member of the Intermediate Choir. Even though the season ended in a way no one would have wanted, nor could ever have imagined, at least we had an ending. This is unlike Lily’s other activities and sports, which merely stopped, but didn’t really end (no year-end tourney, no playoffs, no goodbyes). CNCC providing the kids a platform to keep learning and singing “together” gave them a sense of normalcy.
While virtual choir activities rarely measure up to the real-life experience, the CNCC staff knew they had to adapt their programming and continue the choral season in whatever way they could while keeping their choristers safe at home. While they wait out the pandemic, the CNCC community will stay active and connected, looking for fresh ways to create music and engage with one another.
We are determined to provide a quality choral and music education program to the children in our community, whether we are in our rehearsal space or online, said Amanda Nelli. We will be busy planning for both scenarios throughout the summer. When we sing together again, it will be an overwhelming and happy feeling for everyone. I can’t wait.
About Chorus Niagara Children’s Choir – Chorus Niagara Children’s Choir is a growing part of the Chorus Niagara family. A dynamic choir for children ages 4-16; it introduces members to the basics ofchoral singing as they prepare for concerts. CNCC is facilitated by highly qualified music professionals, led by Artistic Director Amanda Nelli. Children between the ages of 4 – 16 are welcome to join CNCC. For more information please visit their chorusniagaracc.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on Chorus Niagara and upcoming performances, click on – chorusniagara.org
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