August 19, 2020

How to stay connected to your choir

How to stay connected to your choir


As social distancing makes it increasingly harder to gather and sing, staying connected to your choir is of vital importance. Often, it may seem like things will never get back to normal; that we must now embrace the ‘new normal.’ But what does that mean for choirs? How will this affect our celebration of the liturgy?

To help answer these questions, we’ve recently launched a new podcast series, Choir Stories by OCP and Jaime Cortez. Featuring interviews with music directors all across the country, the series offers an in-depth look at the changes in music and worship brought on by the pandemic. Below are a few tips from some of our guests to date:

“March 22nd, we did our first livestreamed Mass. I am playing piano and cantoring all at once. We are blessed that we have a parochial vicar that loves music, and so, at a safe distance, he will sing with me or play guitar, when he’s not celebrating Mass. We do a lot of Zoom calls. We do a lot of Facetime. That’s how I work with my students. [I think] finding ways to be part of a community — online, sharing recordings, or inviting people to collaborate. –Jamie Sample, St. Ann Catholic Church, Arlington, VA

“Instead of planning out rehearsals, I’m working on PowerPoint slides and things that we can use to enhance the livestream liturgy and stay connected.” –Todd Dockrill, St. Michael Catholic Church, Independence, OH

“Although we can’t gather as choirs in person, there are ways in which we can better ourselves. Look up! We’re not going to find that connection if we don’t. Find the things God wants us to be working on in our personal lives, and that can inform our singing when we get back together. This can be a real period of introspection, and how we can make ourselves better spiritually.” –Renee Favo, St. Paul Catholic Church, Jacksonville Beach, FL

Additional tips for staying connected:

  • Host a choral video hangout
    Use a conferencing platform like Zoom to book a virtual hangout session for your choir. This can be a space to share choral memories, play games, host music workshops and more.
  • Create an online forum for your choir
    If you don’t have an online forum for your choir already, now would be a great time to set one up. Facebook has private groups you can create for this very purpose. Chorus Connection also works well.
  • Create a virtual choir video
    Have each individual member of your choir record themselves performing the same song and edit them into one cohesive choir performance video. This requires some editing skills and may prove difficult for those that are not tech savvy, but the end result has the potential to be something truly special. It’s a great way to unite your choir.