It’s fair to say 2020 has not been a typical year for The Renaissance Choir.
A 30-strong ensemble which shares a passion for choral music, we usually sing together every Friday in Emsworth, with a repertoire that spans over five hundred years, from the Renaissance up to the present day. We give concerts in Hampshire and West Sussex, and every year we go on tour, often to Europe.
When Covid hit, we did not stop singing. We’re good friends, as well as good singers, and we wanted to maintain our reputation for making music of a very high standard, even during lockdown.
Music Director, Peter Gambie, said: ‘Being banned from our weekly sing was like a bereavement because we’re all so committed to music and each other. So we had newsletters full of amusing anecdotes, Zoom talks about cacti and planetary motion as well as daily singing exercises and warm-ups’.
We also made a virtual recording.
But there is nothing like physically singing together. In September, when our weekly rehearsals started again, we learnt to sing in masks, and socially distanced. We made a recording of two carols for the Rowans Hospice annual Christmas card. ‘Covid has made us realise just how much and why music matters,’ said one singer.
The end of the year will see us singing more carols together, as well as broadcasting them, and then looking forward to 2021. In our 45th year we hope to perform in Wells and Glastonbury.