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What has the choir been doing during lockdown?

What has the choir been doing during lockdown?

Sunday 18th July 2021

It has been a really tough sixteen months for everyone… We have all missed doing the things we have always taken for granted - such as meeting together in person to sing.

The Bach Choir was in the midst of rehearsing for our 80th anniversary concert when the pandemic struck last March, and all live musical activities had to cease. We watched in dismay and disappointment as our plans for the rest of the season rapidly unravelled, including a performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius at Coventry Cathedral, which was to have been the climax of our celebrations.

However, we were extremely fortunate that our new Musical Director Lee Dunleavy was more than willing to engage with the choir over Zoom - despite having met us only once! - and by the start of July 2020 we were singing again, albeit individually and online. It was a strange new experience for us all, and a steep learning curve for Lee, but he made it work and we were just grateful for the opportunity to sing and make contact with each other.

Of course the lockdowns, and the ban on singing together in person, lasted longer than any of us thought possible, and it is a huge credit to Lee and to our Chairman Melanie Forse that they managed to keep up our morale during the long winter months of isolation. We worked on a range of music in our Zoom rehearsals, from songs by Herbert Howells to motets by J S Bach. We had hoped we might at least be able to sing some of this music together, if not to a live audience, but it was not to be.

Meanwhile Lee, Melanie and the rest of the committee were working very hard behind the scenes, looking to the future. During lockdown, they have negotiated a new rehearsal venue for the choir, All Saints’ Church, Emscote, which is a light and airy space much more suitable for rehearsing in a post-Covid world. They have also been planning an exciting new season of concerts for 2021-2, full details of which will be published on the website shortly.

Finally, a subset of the choir got together under Lee’s direction at the beginning of July to record some music from Mozart’s Requiem, as part of Coventry’s ‘City of Culture 2021’ Phoenix City project. The recording will be used in the soundtrack for Duncan Whitley’s film (Click Here) which will be shown at the Herbert Gallery in the autumn, when the Turner Prize exhibits are displayed.

And as from Wednesday 21st July, we have been able to meet and sing together in person again - and it feels GREAT!!

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