Rushmoor Male Voice Choir have not stayed idle during COVID-19 lockdown. Not only have the choir replaced the social side of their weekly rehearsals with fortnightly Zoom social meetups, but they have even recorded a performance of Bizet’s Divine Brahma as a ‘virtual choir’ to satisfy their need to get back singing again.
When it became apparent that the COVID-19 lockdown was going to go on for a significant period the choir wanted to find ways to replace both the musical aspects of their weekly rehearsals and monthly concerts and the social fellowship of choir membership. Many of the members are classified in the ‘high risk’ category for COVID so getting together in person was not an option. Instead the choir has turned to technology for solutions.
Every two weeks the choir meets over Zoom to chat and find out what is going on in each other’s lives along with a quiz to tax the brains a little. However, this doesn’t satisfy those who want to sing. So, with the rehearsal guidance of Musical Director Stephen Petch, some of the choir members recorded themselves singing their parts of ‘Divine Brahma’ from Bizet’s opera The Pearl Fishers on a variety of devices from phones to laptops. This was then magically glued together by clever video editor Joseph Kusionowicz and sound engineer Jamie Turnbull to produce the final performance recording.
Peter Viveash, Chairman of The Rushmoor ‘Odd Fellows’ Male Voice Choir, said “This was a journey into the unknown for several our less IT-literate choir members, but we are delighted with the result. We are known as a fellowship of men who love to sing, and this technology has helped us continue both the fellowship and the singing despite not being able to get together”.