Friends- itâ€™s been so longâ€¦ and itâ€™s time to get together in a safe way to say hello, and reconnect. Â I have a plan to get together on Thursday, Sept 10th at 7:00pmÂ to socialize, and maybe sing a little together outside. Â We will need to practice social distancing, and wear our masks.Â Itâ€™s really important that we are careful with following protocols so that we can be sure this gathering will be safe. Â Weâ€™ll meet near the playground on the east side of the church building. If we can’t follow the protocols of social distancing and wearing masks, then we will not be allowed to gather at all.
To keep it simple, you should bring your own chair (lawn chair or something similar.) Â We will not be serving any food or beverages either.Â Â We will talk about a plan for this season that night, and most importantly, try to reconnect on a musical and spiritual level. Â I donâ€™t have any details worked out yet as far as singing, and what weâ€™ll sing, so just bring your mask, and a chair, and weâ€™ll figure it out.
Please note– if the weather is bad, we will have to cancel. I will send out a notification if there is any doubt.
Itâ€™s really important that we all agree to respect the social distance guidelines, and mask-wearing policies. Â None of us are getting any younger 🙂 and itâ€™s important that the music ministry does not aid the virus to spread in any way.Â Fr. Stan has made it clear that masks are required even outside, and social distancing must be kept for any official church event or the event will be shut down, and further gatherings won’t be allowed.Â I have tried singing in several different types of masks, and it is definitely manageable, though it is different.Â The cheap paper masks seem to work fine for singing, as do larger fabric masks.Â They even make special “singer’s masks” that cost about $25 with shipping, but honestly, I don’t think they are worth the money.
If you are not comfortable in an outside environment, socially-distanced, and careful, I certainly understand, and I very much respect your wishes to not attend.Â We all have different levels of comfort, and we all will respect one another’s decisions about whether to attend and sing, or not.
I miss all of you a lot, and I miss hearing you sing, and singing with you.Â This will be such a nice chance to catch up, and to exercise our singing muscles a bit in a safe way.
Please let me know if you plan to attend by clicking the button below, and following the prompts.
In case anyone is wondering about recommendations for safe singing during the Covid-19 pandemic,Â I offer a few highlights below.Â If you’re not that curious, then you can stop reading now.Â 🙂
Basically, the American Choral Directors Association, and Michigan State Vocal Music Association (among other professional music organizations) have issued recommendations (based on data and research) as follows:
-Whenever possible, sing outdoors. (A tent could be a good idea, but it should not have sides on the tent that would prevent maximum airflow.)
-Singers must be masked even outside, and must maintain a minimum of 6ft of distance in all directions from all other singers or instrumentalists.
-Masks MUST cover both mouth and nose, and not be loose fitting.
-Singing outdoors should only happen in less than 60 minute increments, and a break of at least 30 minutes should follow if practice will resume after the initial block.
-Singing indoors requires good ventilation, and approximately 10ft of distance is recommended in an indoor setting.Â Masks are absolutely required. If possible, all windows and doors should be opened to encourage better ventilation, and the air handling system should remain on to continue to circulate air.Â Large spaces like churches or halls are best for rehearsing as 10 ft of distance can be maintained.Â Only 30 minutes of singing should be done at a time, and a break of 20 minutes must follow to allow for proper air exchange. Consider blowing fans or moving your rehearsal space to another area for the next block of rehearsal.