‘May you live in interesting times’

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‘May you live in interesting times’, so says the ancient Chinese curse and it’s appropriate now to look back on a year few of us have seen the like of and plan with hope for the new one.

At the beginning of 2020 the choir was looking forward to concerts, a tour and many other events, both musical and social, well into 2021. The first victim of Covid19 was our spring concert, due to take place on March 14th, a few days after restrictions were placed on public gatherings.

But after the initial shock, we found many ways of carrying on musically, together though apart. First via YouTube with ‘Dacorum Community Choir at Home ‘. Soon we were singing along to musical director Rufus Frowde leading us from the piano in his front room. It’s been a learning experience for many of us, so maybe not such a curse after all.

After a while we moved to Zoom rehearsals. Thanks to Rufus and to Andrew Holder who mastered the technology to get us all into the meetings and perhaps more importantly, muted us (apart from Rufus) when the singing began. The prospect of us all singing together separately just seemed a bit too likely to resemble a musical Tower of Babel.

After restrictions eased, some met each other in groups of six for picnics in various outdoor spaces and in a variety of weathers. The seven of us who met at Ashridge (a small error of organisation there) will not forget a police car rolling up, and parking right beside us, before deciding that we were probably harmless. ‘Grannies arrested for holding illegal rave’ might have made an intriguing headline.

As I write there is hope that a vaccine will be rolled out in the next month and life can gradually return to normal. The choir is hoping to be able to get together for a well-distanced Carol singalong on December 12th, and is planning a quiz in January, via Zoom.

At present we’re rehearsing Christmas songs and music for further concerts. In-person rehearsals will begin again as soon as it is safe to do so and the committee has created a protocol to be used while restrictions last. Our first public concert will feature ‘Were I not to Sing’, composed by Rufus to words by Austin Janes, Team Vicar at the Church of the Resurrection.

The tour to N. Wales which was planned for July 2020, will be re-programmed for sometime next summer, and we all look forward to being able to sing once more in care homes, clubs and societies – one of our most popular numbers is ‘We’ll Meet Again’, and that’s my wish for 2021.

You can keep up to date with news about us on www.dacorumcommunitychoir.org and on our Facebook page.

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