I went to a choir concert last Friday night, a rather emotional performance of a 20-voice a capella ensemble at a church across the city. The experience has been with me the entire weekend.
I wanted — no; I felt I deserved — an evening out.
We’ve all been living through several waves of this pandemic for 20 months (it feels longer) and things have loosened up enough that I was craving some sort of return to normality.
But I wasn’t ready to return to a jazz bar I frequented pre-COVID, nor a large concert, but the opportunity to hear a chorus of real live voices within a large church sounded comfortable.
The performance of That Choir at the St. Anne’s Anglican Church was profound.
The performance met all COVID-19 safety requirements: proof of double vaccination, essential masks, and decreased seating.
Even though both the crowd and the choir were physically distanced, it felt so close.
The sounds of the human voice is remarkable, especially a collective this precise and polished. That Choir filled the large church setting and some of the emptiness that had been building up inside of me.
I believe we all felt it. The choir director was even tearful at the end of the first selection. This was the first time the choir had performed in front of a live audience since this whole pandemic business set in.
We were sharing space.
We have all been cooped up for so long. Through this pandemic we have been living in isolation of sorts. This contact with other people, as things begin to open up, felt natural; and it hasn’t felt like that in a while.
You could sense the choir director’s happiness; you could hear true joy in the voices of singers, and you could hear the delighted response in each round of applause from the appreciative crowd, especially the standing ovation at the completion of the concert.
It felt good, it felt right; it felt humane.
We attend arts events not only for entertainment, but also for community.
We are human. We belong together.
Thank you to each member of That Choir for providing a truly human experience.