“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” takes on a whole new meaning this year as we celebrate the holiday season during a time when everyone must practice social distancing.
For the first time, the Lakeshore Community Chorus (LCC) will bring its perennially popular holiday concert to online audiences. Without a risk-free way to sing in groups, or entertain audiences in traditional concert venues, our choral and instrumental artists have chosen to be creative, yet keep the spirit of the season.
Artistic Director Nancy Plantinga explains:
- “Many live music concerts have been cancelled or have been broadcast to their audiences digitally. However, creating a ‘virtual chorus’ is quite different than broadcasting a ‘virtual concert.’ ” Nancy used her skills as a musician and artist when putting together the first LCC virtual performance, a video of the choral piece “Why We Sing.”
- “Each singer rehearsed and recorded at home while listening via earbud to a recording that emphasized their vocal part. I put together an instructional video to help them learn the music, paying close attention to more complicated rhythms, cut-offs, dynamic markings, and breathing places in the music
- I took the individual videos that each chorus member made, uploaded them into a program on my computer, and edited. I had to line up the audio portion of each video, sometimes making adjustments for early or late entrances or cut-offs.
- I created the “Brady Bunch” screen, cropping faces and moving images around to create the final product. This was all new for me and more challenging and time consuming than rehearsing and directing the chorus in person. I am so grateful to Patrick Coyle, artistic director of the Holland Chorale, for all the support and coaching.”
Tenor Wendy Gronbeck pulled together the final product. “Think of me as the mechanic who assembles and trims the videos as needed to create smooth transitions between each performance,” explains Wendy. “I also write the titles and credits for each performance. Then, voila, it’s a complete concert!”
The end result, “The Gift of Music, a Holiday Collage,” is a compilation of LCC music from past winter concerts as well as new music videos recorded by chorus members, their family members, and friends of LCC. This includes:
- The virtual choir
- Solos will be performed by:
- Vivian Adel-Boot, LCC accompanist;
- Peter Black, former LCC accompanist;
- Lauri Donaldson (flute and voice);
- Jeff Spangler (voice).
- Virtual small ensembles include:
- Women’s group singing Enya’s “Amid the Falling Snow;”
- Barbershop double quartet performing the classic, “White Christmas;”
- Chamber ensemble singing “Christmas Time is Here;” and
- Women’s quartet of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” by mother-daughter team Mary Terzino and Gracie Potter, each performing two voice parts.
The initial performance will premiere on December 20, 2020, at 4:00 pm and will be available through January 6, 2021. Performances can be viewed on the Facebook.com/lakeshorecommunitychorus page or at YouTube.com/lakeshorecommunitychorus, or a link on our website, www.lakeshorecommunitychorus.org.
We are hoping that this concert truly will be a “gift of music,” inextricably linked with memories of wonderful times with family and friends and brought straight to the comfort of your home from the Lakeshore Community Chorus this holiday season.
The Lakeshore Community Chorus is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs, and the Allegan County Community Foundation.
Here is a Sample of our virtual chorus with the performance of “Why We Sing.” This song, composed by Greg Gilpin, is a testament to the power of music and why the chorus continues to make music together, though apart.
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