The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to performing arts groups around the world. In the U.S., hundreds of stages that were shuttered in March remain dark today. For the Fall 2020 season, our choral group is particularly concerned amid early studies suggesting choir singers are at heightened risk of acquiring and spreading the COVID-19 virus.
After serious deliberation, and a survey of our membership, we’ve begun rehearsals for our Fall 2020 semester with added restrictions and safety measures. The choir is strictly following the Frederick Community College Roadmap to Resilience and Recovery (3R Plan) and has updated rehearsal procedures as well as the regularity of engagement for the safety of our singers. A listing of our precautions and the current state of operations can be found below.
For performances, we are following the advice of the CDC regarding events and gatherings as we plan for outdoor performances in the community this holiday season.
Precautions and State of Operations
- We are limiting rehearsals to small groups that sing for only 30 minutes (versus our typical 2.5 hours).
- We take temperatures upon entry to the room, where members are asked to sanitize hands.
- We wear tight-fitting masks while singing and social distance by at least six feet.
- No water or food is allowed in the room.
- Instead of our tradition of capping each semester with a big, splashy concert, we will offer caroling to the community, performing outdoor in a socially distanced manner.
- During concerts, we may partner with the Audio Engineering department at Frederick Community College to make performances available to a broader audience.
- The CASF board is meeting virtually to continue our organizational operations in a socially distant and effective manner.
- CASF volunteers are working hard to apply for grants to keep us financially afloat.
- Notably, about 70% of the membership has readily paid membership dues for themselves and for others, or donated additional monies, despite our not being able to gather, rehearse and perform. This underscores our love for our group and our community.