In-person rehearsals may not be an option amid the global lockdowns, but this isn’t stopping choir communities around the world from growing – thanks to the power of the internet.
Over 1,000 staff members from the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) have joined the NHS Chorus-19 choir online to connect with others and keep their mood up, providing a much-needed form of relief amid the coronavirus crisis.
“I don’t think people expected to enjoy online rehearsals, but it’s quite freeing to be able to just sing with nobody judging you. And it gives people a sense of accomplishment,” says Lucy Vere, head of organization development at Hull University and co-founder of the choir. “The social aspect of work has really gone because of social distancing and I think we’re able to recreate the solidarity you have with your colleagues in that 45 minutes.”
Also in the UK, 150 virtual choir members in Essex have raised tens of thousands of dollars for the NHS. Online community choirs have also been on the rise for students stuck at home from school, and for residents of all ages, including the elderly, to stay connected. Additionally, a “couch choir” that kicked off in Australia has seen over 6,000 strangers from 45 countries remotely join forces to sing together from afar.