After the two-year grind of the pandemic, the Delta Choral Society is slowly trying to recover and rebuild their choirs.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place for months and choirs not allowed to gather, interest and membership has dropped.
“After the spring of 2020, we weren’t able to meet at all,” said Alana McKenna, society past president.
So the society did online workshops, fundraisers, a cooking class and beer tasting, just to keep people connected.
This year, though they’ve been able to gather twice, in the winter and spring, mostly while wearing masks.
“But numbers are still very low. Much, much lower than pre-pandemic times, so it’s been hard to stay afloat,” McKenna said.
With COVID-19 still lingering, people are still thinking twice about coming back to sing, especially for those who are older or with compromised health.
“The want is there, but just that real fear of anything happening … they’re just not feeling safe enough because of COVID to return yet,” she said, adding that so far they haven’t been able to run the youth choir since the pandemic.
Both adult and the children’s choirs did a Christmas concert last year and spring concert this year, with smaller numbers than usual.
COVID-19 protocols were followed, including singers wearing special singing masks, which are roomier, with people separated as much as possible.
“Luckily we’ve had no outbreaks within any of the choirs, so we’ve been very fortunate to keep it at bay,” she said. “It’s a lot more challenging, to sing, for sure,” with a mask. They do make singers’ masks. There’s more space, but the masks do mute the sound. It does provide a barrier for sure. It’s better than nothing.”
Choir members are also required to be vaccinated, she added.
Two concerts are planned this year one in December, but it’s not certain what the restrictions will be. The choir also would like to participate in this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony in November but that’s not certain either.
“We’d love to get some members back or even new members who want to sing again. Try to get some of our previous audience back as well, just that we’re up and running and we’re being just as safe as we possibly can,” McKenna said.
For more information on the Delta Choral Society see: https://www.deltachoral.ca/.