Brock Choir sings new tune for virtual 2020-21 season

Brock Choral Ensemble 2019/20. Brock University photo

Brock University press release – Choir at Brock University will look a little different this fall by moving to a virtual rehearsal format.

“Given the known risks of singing together in groups, we will not attempt to do what we normally do until health guidelines permit us,” says Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Associate Professor of Music and Choir Director.

While not being able to safely gather and practice in person together is a challenge for those in the choir, Rensink-Hoff sees it as an opportunity.

“We have a unique opportunity to get to know and learn from one another in new ways through online discussion and active engagement.”

Rensink-Hoff will focus the choir on pursuing some of the things they haven’t usually had time for, such as building individual skills in vocal technique and stage presence, analyzing music as a vehicle for storytelling, and reflecting on the historical and cultural contexts of songs. There will also be a “Shared Perspectives” series of guest interviews and workshops with conductors, composers and vocal-choral specialists from across Canada and the U.S.

Choir members will need headphones, a video recording device such as a phone, computer or tablet, as well as an internet connection.

The Treble Choir (sopranos and altos) will rehearse together virtually on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m., and the Mixed Voices choir (sopranos, altos, tenors and basses) will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

“Our work will emphasize the process, rehearsing, over the product, performing,” says Rensink-Hoff. “This is a tough transition for those of us in the arts, but it is also a chance for us to strengthen our performance skills and to reflect on the significance of live performance to individuals and communities.”

Choir auditions are open to Brock students, faculty, staff as well as members of the wider Niagara community. Both new and returning choir members may book their auditions online before the deadline on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 11:59 p.m.