Recently, I and twenty or so members of the Chancel Choir gathered at Bill and Anne Thompson's home for a time of fellowship and a celebration of Michele Betsill's upcoming adventure in Denmark as professor at the University of Copenhagen. It is an awesome opportunity but she will be missed at Plymouth! And some of us have only seen each other in two dimensions these past fifteen months, courtesy of Zoom. And for others, it was a reunion long time coming. Connection and camaraderie are essential components for choral singers, the most social of all music ensembles. We don't need an instrument to express our harmonies after all— just our natural selves. This became very apparent last Wednesday evening.
These months of the pandemic have been anything but linear. As close contact could potentially be dangerous, it was always about finding a workaround: virtual choral singing approaches, prerecorded worship services pieced together throughout the prior week, livestreamed services, and more protocols than one would hopefully ever need again! Time-consuming. And often frustrating.
But now, we can actually connect two points together...in a straight line at that! For example, you can drive from your home and pull into Plymouth for the 6:00 p.m. service and we'll all be together in real time. Soon, we can experience the 10:00 a.m. service in this same way on July 4. And the Chancel Choir will be there too...and the week after. What was once a major super spreader event (choral singing) is now laid low with these life-saving vaccines. It is an amazing transitional time now.
So let's enjoy the return of immediacy and overflowing connection opportunities we once freely enjoyed. Strangely, the ease of simply doing something without the resistance of once necessary safety protocols makes me feel like a slacker. As if, "this is just too easy, really?" Maybe you can relate to that too. In any case, we'll get over it. That I'm quite sure of.
Mark Heiskanen has been Plymouth's Director of Music since September 2017. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Mark has experience and great interest in a diverse range of musical styles including jazz, rock, musical theatre, and gospel. He is thrilled to serve a congregation and staff that values diversity and inclusion in all facets of life. Read his mostly-weekly Music Minute here.