As we look with anticipation toward our 2020-2021 season, alongside the developing and swiftly changing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to assure our AAYC choristers and families that safety remains our primary focus in all AAYC practices and decisions. We are dedicated to providing a calm, supportive, and fulfilling singing experience that honors the AAYC mission to enrich the lives of children and our community through the vehicle of excellent singing and a community where children can safely make music during this time of uncertainty.
During this unparalleled time, we’ve been asked to exercise responsiveness and adaptiveness as the science of COVID-19 continues to be discovered; our 2020-2021 choir season will also ask for our flexibility and nimbleness. In response to the Ann Arbor Public Schools decision to start the 2020-21 school year in a virtual/remote format, Ann Arbor Youth Chorale choirs will meet via Zoom to learn, make music and share friendship through December 2020. We are excited to focus our learning and music making on creating our first professionally produced virtual choir recording. The 21st century music performance and technology skills that our singers will learn during this time will be a valuable experience that will benefit our singers far beyond this season’s virtual performance. We are currently researching the hire of a professional sound engineer to provide the artistry of technology required to assemble a stellar performance. To ensure accessibility of virtual learning for all of our members, we kindly welcome donations of gently used laptops/tablets.
For the Fall semester, Mrs. Kidd and Mrs. Powell will meet with singers via Zoom during our regularly scheduled Tuesday rehearsal times to present vocal techniques, performance skills and music learning. During rehearsal we will use our time to provide feedback and encouragement to help our singers grow and benefit from music. Practice recordings will be provided so that singers will be able to make music on their own throughout the week between rehearsals. Our accompanists will continue to be collaborative partners and key artists in our rehearsals and practice recordings.
We are eager to return to live music making; however, none of us can predict or guarantee precisely when we can safely gather to rehearse in person or present a live concert performance. Throughout the upcoming season, we will respond to state orders about COVID progress and do everything possible to prepare for the return to live instruction as soon as is feasible in 2021. Our hope is that by the end of the 2020-21 season we will be able to gather singers for in-person performance that may be live streamed or presented in an outdoor venue. Should we be able to do so, we will do everything in our power to allow for that celebration, while employing safe practices for everyone. Should that not be possible, we will reframe the second part of the season in a format to allow our choirs to create a live stream type concert to share with our virtual audience. We want to assure AAYC children and families that we will discover the road ahead together and are excited about providing a compelling and beneficial experience for our choristers in this unprecedented time.
The Ann Arbor Youth Chorale Board and Staff