Reflections on an Outdoor Rehearsal

12th September, 2020 at Mount Seymour United Church, North Vancouver

By Dan MacMaster

It had been a long time since our choir had the chance to gather face-to-face to experience the “Joy of Singing” with each other. To be precise, it had been 185 days since our last rehearsal on March 10th and 242 days since our last concert performance at Chilliwack on December 15th. So it is understandable why I jumped at this chance to participate in a small group outdoor rehearsal being staged for twelve singers (first come, first served) on the grounds of Mt. Seymour United Church on a Sunday afternoon several weeks ago.

I was not disappointed! Indeed, I was immediately reminded of the lasting satisfaction and the good feelings that I have always enjoyed over the years performing with the larger VWMC choir and the Gospel Boys (a smaller a capella group).

That afternoon we may have followed a familiar rehearsal format for over an hour or so, but the impact on me was far from usual. What a difference a live performance can make! Some unexpected passersby gathered around the edges of our strictly laid out social distancing formation to listen to us…and most ended up staying for the duration of the rehearsal. They frequently showed their appreciation for our efforts by their applause and smiles. Even our patient professionals, Jonathan Quick and Karen Lee-Morlang, praised our small group when we successfully navigated through a particularly tricky passage after many attempts. We even surprised ourselves at these times!

I would like to give “Thanks” to everyone involved for arranging this initial outdoor rehearsal. The detailed safety precautions were well thought out and communicated for all participants to follow. I felt very confident throughout our time together. It provided for me a most welcomed chance to once again be with my friends and experience the “Joy of Singing” with my fellow choristers – briefly freed from the concerns of Covid 19. I came away energized and looking forward to any further opportunity that might be offered us to meet in person in such a controlled and safe atmosphere. You certainly provided a “Bridge Over Troubled Water” for me.