Finding ways to sing together during the COVID-19 crisis

[Andover, MA] Members of the Andover Choral Society recently participated in an international online sing-along of Johannes Brahms’ A German Requiem hosted by the Berlin Radio Choir and Interkultur, the world’s leading organizer of international choir competitions and festivals. Participants in the online sing-along attended six online rehearsals via YouTube between May 4 and May 9. The rehearsals were directed by Simon Halsey, honorary conductor of the Berlin Radio Choir, with each participant singing along at home. The online sing-along culminated on May 10 with a virtual concert featuring members of the Berlin Radio Choir, who were also singing from home, along with hundreds of individual participants around the world.

Berlin Radio Chorus: Brahms Requiem sing along

During a live online interview broadcast following the May 10 concert Simon Halsey said “It’s so good to know that what we all do live when we are all together in a concert hall, we can still do a little bit when we are spread out all over the world limited to our homes due to Coronavirus.”

The Andover Choral Society performed the Requiem in concert in 2012, so members were able to follow the online sing-along using their own scores. While members miss the unique camaraderie and joyful sound of singing live together, the sing-along was a welcome chance to sing a great choral work under the direction of an internationally accomplished music director.

As Andover Choral Society board president Tom Connolly observed, “It was like an online Summer Sing. Hearing Simon Halsey’s thoughts and comments on the Brahms Requiem was fascinating.”

In a time when concerts in front of an audience and joint rehearsals in the same room are impossible, it is important to find other ways to use music as a thread that connects people. The online sing-along of Brahms’ Requiem achieved this gloriously, connecting countless singers from across the globe, all singing together from their homes. Thanks go to Dr. Michael Driscoll, Andover Choral Society Music Director, for encouraging members to participate in this event.

About Andover Choral Society

Andover Choral Society is dedicated to presenting exceptional performances, connecting to the larger community, and fostering an appreciation of choral music. Founded in 1929, the chorus performs two concerts per year, with a repertoire that focuses on fine choral and choral-orchestral works from the Baroque era through the present day. Since 1929, membership has been open to anyone with a love for great choral music and a desire to share that love with others. Visit andoverchoralsociety.org for more information.

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