Sing Out! How the “In Flagrante” choir, never faltered during lockdown
The signature tune of “In Flagrante” has long been the joyous Cat Stevens song which starts “if you want to sing out, sing out”. And we have certainly taken this to heart during lockdown. Nothing was going to stop us singing out, even if we had to do it via Zoom.
Immediately, lockdown curtailed us meeting face-to-face in our usual venue of St Anne’s church hall on Kew Green, so our wonderful musical director, Eamonn O’Dwyer arranged for us to meet each week through Zoom. As usual, we started every rehearsal with breathing and diction exercises with some novel Covid-linked tongue twisters. And then we rehearsed both previous and new repertoire, with Eamonn initially taking us through each of our parts and then allowing us to sing, accompanied by pre-recorded music and voices. It’s as close as we can get to singing together, allowing for different broadband speeds.
Very few of us had ever used Zoom before but with a helping hand from Eamonn we have all mastered it successfully. Music is sent to us by email each week and we can choose to print or save a few trees by reading it digitally. My goodness, how we have all moved into the digital age, whatever OUR age.
Our virtual rehearsals have been so successful that we have continued without a break. We would normally have stopped for Easter and the Summer but no-one was going anywhere. And even if they were, they could dial in from anywhere in the world. We have also become a virtual international choir with singers joining us from America, Germany and Scotland!
“In Flagrante” has coped well with the strange, but new normality, demonstrating an unexpected flexibility to adapt. In this way, our friendly community of singers has survived and provided us all with a structure to the week which has, at times for some of us, lacked structure and routine and contact with other people.
However we have all missed rehearsals in person. We are hoping to get back to real rather than virtual rehearsals soon. And when we do, it will be such a delight to hear everyone’s voices. But in the meantime, virtual rehearsals have the benefit of no one else hearing your mistakes (except perhaps the neighbours and your dog!).
It’s a bit like singing in the shower! Doing it for your own pleasure and no embarrassment from any duff notes. We would love to “see” you and “hear” you.