The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Noteworthy Kids children’s choir program will look a little different this year in the face of COVID-19.
Registration is now open for the upcoming fall and winter sessions of Noteworthy Kids, which will take place from Sept. 25 to Dec. 13 and Jan. 8 to April 19, 2021, respectively. The program is open to children age seven to 12 and in adhering to coronavirus safety protocols will be held over the online videoconferencing platform Zoom.
The youths will practise vocal exercises, learn songs of multiple genres and languages, meet members of the VIS and local participants will get to sing with the VIS’s Back Row Brass Quintet at its socially distanced outdoor Christmas concert.
Patricia Plumley is returning as choral conductor. This summer she’s been gaining experience leading virtual Zoom choirs through her Let’s Keep Singing program, which brought together members of seven choirs from the Island and Lower Mainland
“I started out a huge skeptic and now I’m quite a fan of that way it can bring us together and how much we can do,” Plumley said. “Even though it’s different than what we might do, it’s still enormously useful for our choral experiences.”
She said one of the distinct advantages of leading choirs over Zoom is the emphasis on individual voices and how that will help when the singers finally return to in-person performances.
“What was great about it was really that they could hear their own voices and work on their own voice much more easily than you can in a choral setting,” she said. “So I really [think it’s going to] be positive. When we get back together we’re going to be improved individual singers.”
Plumley said some of her Island and Lower Mainland choristers were meeting for the first time. Similarly, the online edition of Noteworthy Kids will be open to youths no matter their physical location.
“I have friends and chorus members over on the mainland who have already said they have grandchildren who they think would be great [for] this,” Plumley said.
She said her experience with online choirs has made it clear that in the face of a global pandemic people still want to find a way to come together to create music.
“Everybody wants to sing,” Plumley said. “Everybody wants to use their voices and the disappointment of not being able to do it chorally doesn’t mean we can’t find a way to connect with each other.”
For more information and to register for Noteworthy Kids, click here.