A reflection from CSC Board Chair, Megan Brachtl:
Over the past 8 months, daily life has, in many ways, become far less surprising than in pre-COVID days. Predictability has its benefits — especially if it means that nothing bad ever happens — but it has left me sometimes desperate for new inputs, new stimuli to exercise my brain and keep things fresh.
I didn’t necessarily expect to feel this way. As chair of the CSC board of directors, I am well aware of the need for CSC to stay relevant and, yes, fresh, even in the middle of a pandemic when singing together can be a dangerous proposition. However, as a singer, I was a bit reticent to fully engage in virtual music making. It’s not what I’m used to and it doesn’t deliver the instant gratification that in-person singing does.
Imagine my surprise when I realized how much I was gaining from the virtual music making experience! For starters, the experience of rehearsal by Zoom — with over 70 singers showing up for 90 minutes every Monday — is unlike any other rehearsal experience. It is no small feat to learn your part in a new song without the support of others around you singing the same notes. But when so many people voluntarily show up week after week to learn their music “together but apart,” you can only be inspired by their collective spirit! To boot, singing in the comfort of my own home, with coaching by our outstanding director Nathan Leaf, is about as convenient and comfortable a rehearsal as I’ll ever have.
Another big “aha” moment for me was when I realized that I was capable of figuring out how to meet the technological requirements of virtual music making. Being asked to record audio files for use in the Brickyard Broadcast meant learning new technology as much as it meant learning new music. Recording audio and video for use in the upcoming Holiday Pops performance also meant dealing with technology combined with logistics, all while smiling and looking relaxed! Now that’s an accomplishment!
Live performance and in-person rehearsals are still the gold standard that we dream about getting back to. But we cannot let opportunities to try something new pass us by while we wait for ideal conditions. Indeed, there is no better time to try something new, to keep things fresh and interesting. So jump into the Brickyard Broadcast, join us for the Holiday Pops livestream event on December 12, or come out for an audition in January to sing (Zoom) with us next spring. Virtual music making is still music-making, and its rewards are surprisingly real!
The Concert Singers of Cary
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Avenue
Cary, NC 27511
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Some images by Denny Colvin and Mark Rainey