Major announcement to herald bright future for online choral singing
During the COVID-19 pandemic, online choirs like The Self-Isolation Choir (SIC) emerged and thrived, using technological innovation to provide harmony, distraction and friendship for those missing the experience of singing together in person.
With restrictions now beginning to ease in many parts of the world and face-to-face choirs returning, there is a misconception that online singing could now be relegated to the annals of lockdown history, along with sourdough starters and 1000-piece jigsaws.
However, this Friday, Mark Strachan will put paid to such assumptions in a major announcement about the future of online singing in general, and SIC in particular. He explains:
"At SIC, whilst we are delighted to hear that, in many countries, face-to-face choirs can meet again in person, we want to be clear that we have absolutely no intention of shutting down and saying, "that's it - job done!"
Quite the reverse - we feel strongly that there are many, many and varied advantages of learning great music in this new and innovative way, and we intend to be here for the long-term.
We are seeing a shift in the way choral music is enjoyed. This Friday, I shall explain why I believe online choral singing will become the dominant force in choral music within five years, and how SIC intends to be at the forefront as we rise to this challenge."
Mark’s statement will also outline the future strategy of SIC for the next two years, including a rebrand fit for the future, and a very exciting announcement of a 2021 Festival of Choral Music. He will also answer questions about the future of the choir and how it will navigate this new age of digital choral singing. Questions can be submitted in advance via this web form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/13m_5tDOi8pfcBvlKY7SYsSONidjjr2k-ZZcsocQ1kiw
SIC’s singers will be relieved and excited to hear about these ground-breaking plans, as the choir has been flooded with messages of support and concern following the UK government’s recent announcement that in-person choirs may soon return to unrestricted rehearsals. One such SIC member, Julie from Burlington, Ontario, conveys the sentiments of many, saying:
"When I first joined SIC, I said, “Online singing is great, but it doesn’t replace face-to-face singing”. Over a year later, I now think it’s the other way around. I will return to my face-to-face choir, but it won’t replace my online choirs.
I’ve developed so many skills, learned and performed so much wonderful music and had the chance to work with world-class musicians. I can fit rehearsals around my busy work life. I can enjoy our performances as a chorister AND an audience member, without leaving home.
I’ve gained so much confidence, developed new skills, made wonderful friends, and maybe more importantly, I have discovered how much I love singing."
Meanwhile, other singers have been keen to emphasise that, for them, isolation is a part of everyday life, not just a pandemic phenomenon. For those who live in remote areas, live with health issues, have caring responsibilities, or myriad other situations, SIC has been both a revelation and a welcome lifeline they have no intention of giving up.
It is therefore understandable that the greatly-anticipated “return to normal” might lead to some anxiety for those who have – against the odds – thrived during lockdown. However, SIC is determined, not only to stick around, but to grow and develop even further, as Director of Music, Ben England BEM, explains:
"As more of us get vaccinated and countries allow their choirs to resume face-to-face rehearsals, we are approaching another period of change for the world of singing.
Together we have learned so much online, shared so many wonderful experiences, shed tears of joy and gratitude for and with each other - and now we look to the coming global changes with optimism and excitement. Our community is still growing and our plans for the next few years are about managing this transition from lockdown choir to fully-blown art form.
We are so looking forward to hearing from Mark Strachan on the future of our online choral community and the next steps on the global journey for SIC."
Join Mark for this significant statement on YouTube Live at 19:00 BST on Friday 16 July 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_33YrQfQhU
As The Self-Isolation Choir is based online, it does not have a physical address or telephone number. All media queries should be directed to The Self-Isolation Choir Communications Manager, Nikki Chilton, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Self-Isolation Choir (SIC) was founded by Mark Strachan in March 2020, as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Its aim was to provide comfort and support to people worldwide who were feeling disconnected from family, friends and society by bringing them together to sing glorious choral works. SIC has since attracted more than 10,000 international singers and received special commendation in the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Inspiration Award 2020. SIC has performed for Her Majesty The Queen, and its performances have been regularly featured across the UK media, including on Desert Island Discs and Newsnight.
Further information about SIC, including current, future and previous projects, is available at www.theselfisolationchoir.com.
Follow The Self-Isolation Choir on social media: The Self-Isolation Choir on YouTube | @IsolationChoir on Twitter | @SelfIsolationChoir on Facebook | selfisolationchoir on Instagram.
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