Saffron Walden choir launches ‘song for pandemic’ despite being apart

PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 August 2020

Photo: Granta Chorale.

Photo: Granta Chorale.

Granta Chorale

A Saffron Walden choir has premiered a new ‘song for the pandemic’ by merging together individual performances.

Granta Chorale rehearsing before the lockdown. Photo: Supplied by Granta Chorale.Granta Chorale rehearsing before the lockdown. Photo: Supplied by Granta Chorale.

The song, written by Granta Chorale’s musical director, composer Janet Wheeler, is called “Singing in a Choir”. It laments the inability of choirs to sing together in person because of the coronavirus pandemic – but celebrates managing to still sing together virtually.

The performance documents the lockdown period, with clips of choir members singing and showing life in Saffron Walden during the pandemic, featuring gardening, visiting the town centre and even singing in the bath.

The singers learnt the music through weekly online rehearsals. Because of the nature of the rehearsals, they have only been able to hear themselves individually. The first time they will hear a complete performance is when they watch the video.

Composer and musical director Janet Wheeler said: “I’ve been delighted that Granta Chorale members have been joining our Zoom rehearsals, meeting up online and keeping the choir together. But the song shows my own mixed feelings about the whole experience of singing at a distance – it’s just not the same thing! I’m really thrilled that the singers threw themselves into the recording project to produce this digital premiere!”

Granta Chorale rehearsing before the lockdown. Photo: Roger King/Saffron Photo.Granta Chorale rehearsing before the lockdown. Photo: Roger King/Saffron Photo.

Choir member Emma Hall said: “Singing with Granta Chorale has brought me so much joy over the years, so not being able to sing together for months - and not knowing when we might be able to sing together in future - is very difficult.

“Rehearsing a new piece and recording my submission for this video has helped me to feel connected with the other singers again and has definitely got me looking forward to the prospect of finally singing together in person when that’s safe again.”

Currently, the choir does not have a date for singing together again in their Saffron Walden County High School rehearsal room, but are hoping to do so outdoors this summer.

The choir are asking anyone who enjoyed the video to consider donating to Help Musicians UK in order to support professional musicians through this challenging period. Please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/singing-in-a-choir

Granta Chorale rehearsing before the lockdown. Photo: Supplied by Granta Chorale.Granta Chorale rehearsing before the lockdown. Photo: Supplied by Granta Chorale.

Granta Chorale rehearsing before the lockdown. Photo: Supplied by Granta Chorale.Granta Chorale rehearsing before the lockdown. Photo: Supplied by Granta Chorale.


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