USD’s Chamber Singers looks nothing like it did last year.
Singers are required to wear masks and are divided into four separate groups. The four groups work on their own music along with several combined pieces, Emily Muirhead, choir president said.
Combined rehearsals with all four groups are held outside, weather permitting, or in Aalfs Auditorium.
“Some of our rehearsals are student led which is a great opportunity for students to take on different leadership roles,” Muirhead said.
David Holdhusen, USD Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music, said adapting to the pandemic has been a challenging change.
In past years, Chamber Singers have gone on week-long tours over spring break to perform as a group. Their performances typically follow a unifying theme or story.
“This year, due to COVID, we will not be going on tour,” Muirhead said. “I have spent my last 3 spring breaks with this group on a bus so I will really miss going on tour.”
During the spring semester of 2020, the USD Chamber Singers were on tour when COVID started affecting the US.
“I remember sitting in my hotel room on the Wednesday night when the NBA shut down and the President addressed the nation wondering what the future was going to hold,” Holdhusen said. “Fortunately, we were able to finish our tour, perform at the Regional ACDA Conference and give the students some sense of finality for what we had been preparing for.”
Spring semester is going to have some of the same restrictions and changes this semester and last semester had for the Chamber Singers, Muirhead said.
“As of right now, we plan to continue to have a few concerts with a small audience,” Muirhead said.“Each member of the choir was allotted, two guests. Normally our concerts are totally open to the public.”
For spring semester, the choir will still be broken up into several groups, masks will be required and audience members will be limited.
“The spring semester is a bit of a moving target, but I would like to do more larger group music as well as the small ensembles,” Holdhusen said. “It is my hope that we will have our Spring Choral Showcase and that the choir will be able to record in the late spring as we have done in previous years. This will, of course, be at the discretion of our recording engineer and at the mercy of the virus.”
The USD Chamber Singers are currently working on several different projects.
“Our latest project includes The Chamber Singers performing Christmas tunes,” Muirhead said. ‘’If you are interested, follow us on Facebook at USD Chamber Singers to see the finished product.”
Despite the challenges this semester has had, Holdhusen said the Chamber Singers have enjoyed getting to sing together regardless.
“The USD Chamber Singers look forward to bringing live choral music back to campus when it is safe to do so. We have enjoyed being able to sing together this semester,” Holdhusen said.