2021 - Vaccines bring hope
As the pandemic continues so does the challenge for choirs, but with the start of the national vaccination program in February, we cling to hope that 2021 will see our lifestyles in Australia begin the road back to some level of security and normality.
On the recommendation of our Director of Music, Debra, we've decided that 2021 will involve two, instead of the traditional three seasons, to suit rehearsal efficiencies. Our rehearsals resumed on February 2nd 2021 but plans for concerts remain under consideration.
The choir management committee is of the view that the health safety of our singers and audiences must always remain paramount. International evidence is that outdoor transmission of coronavirus is rare, but indoors, transmission via aerosols, especially in venues with limited or poor ventilation, remains high risk.
This is of special relevance for choirs. Although in Queensland we have a very low incidence of transmission, events in early January reminded us that unexpected transmission can occur suddenly, and most often before the spread has been detected.
The committee believes it is unwise to commit to expenditures typically required in the booking of concert venues and associated arrangements, while there remains a clear risk that concerts may well have to be abandoned because of a change in pandemic restrictions.
Our only concert for 2020 was on December 12, and despite deteriorating weather which forced a last minute move under cover from our planned 'Carols in the Garden' in the open air at The Gap, our audience moved quickly too, and all of us enjoyed a beautiful evening.
Our president Sue Gray, working with our Music Director Debra Shearer Dirié and singer Tim Smetham - whose intervention was crucial and much appreciated - secured the late-change of venue. Choir members pitched in to clean and festively decorate the cavernous building and the show began spot-on-time at 6.00pm, the rain tumbling down outside.
It was a truely joyous if novel occasion.
The following week we sang Christmas carols and favourites at Brisbane Quarter at 300 George Street from 5.30pm for one hour each evening. This was part of Brisbane Quarter's "Unwrap Joy" Christmas celebrations, which also included pop-up gelato and cocktails - a very enjoyable week with great public support.