It's almost time for our dear Orange Coast Choir to take a two-month hiatus over the summer. If you have the opportunity, please thank the choir for their continued patience and spirit of adventure as they going with the flow in this changing Covid landscape. We are still creating virtual choir videos, and we have been holding hybrid rehearsals for about two months now -- in the church courtyard and on Zoom. The rehearsals have been a major improvement over all-Zoom rehearsals, because now we can hear each other sing in real time. But we are still masked and distanced, so our sound is muffled and hard to hear. Steve Morihiro, Phil Chipman, and Craig Spery have been spending lots of time and energy to create a sound system containing 5 mics and 5 monitors so the choir can hear themselves better, both in the courtyard and on Zoom. AND we are very much looking forward to the day when it is safe to sing indoors again, all squished together in the choir loft. For now, we will take what we can get and cherish the community singing we are able to do at this time.
While the choir is off for two months, I plan to host two or three all-community singalongs in the courtyard. We will need to be masked and distanced, but if you've been missing singing (or hearing) hymns together, this will be a chance to remember how that felt..sort of. Keep an eye out for an announcement soon. And this summer, there will be more opportunities for soloists and small groups to perform live or on video for our worship services. If you have an idea for a performance you'd like to do, just let me know.
For now, those who come to worship in Daniels Hall on Sunday mornings are asked NOT to sing (except the songleader or soloist). Zoomers can sing to their heart's content during the worship service though.
Thank you for being patient and caring during this liminal period when we are all trying to transition to our New Normal. Since singing uses so much air, it is one of the more dangerous Covid-spreading activities, so we will be cautious. The AUUMM (Association of UU Music Ministries) is providing well-researched guidance to us regarding singing, and I am modeling our approach on their suggestions.
Lastly, I'd like to give another shout-out to Steve Morihiro, who has been the organizer and implementer of all the new tech that's been required to create our hybrid services and meetings. The church is super-lucky to have someone so knowledgeable and generous. Next time you see Steve, please give him your special appreciation.
Director of Music Ministries
Beth Syverson is Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church's Director of Music Ministries. She plans and arranges the music for worship on Sunday mornings, provides piano music during services, and directs the Orange Coast Choir. She is also the artistic director of OCUUC’s concert series—Orange Coast Concerts—which features several eclectic concerts throughout the year.