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Out & About: Thetford Chamber Singers back with virtual concert

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/26/2021 9:44:06 PM
Modified: 5/26/2021 9:44:05 PM

THETFORD — The Thetford Chamber Singers voices will be united in song once again.

Like other choral groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, the group had to get creative. Singers recorded their parts separately and their voices were mixed together for the roughly hourlong concert that can be streamed at 7 p.m. Friday on YouTube. People can access the link at thetfordchambersingers.org. While the concert is free, donations are welcome.

The group was preparing for its spring 2020 concert when COVID-19 stay-at-home orders began and they canceled the program. About a third of the Thetford Chamber Singers’ 40 members chose to participate in the virtual concert, said Leah Romano, who sings alto in the group.

“Several members of our community stepped up to be on a production team where they taught themselves audio and visual editing,” Romano said. “It was a lot of work on the back end. It was something that we wanted to try. We knew other community choirs were trying other things and there was an agreement that we would try it this way and see how it goes. It was a project when people were at home.”

The performance — aptly titled “The Return of Light!” — features six choral pieces and a solo piano performance by Matt Wiencke. It is directed by Kevin Quigley.

“They’re about light and they have some spring themes,” Romano said. “They have themes about openness so when you’re listening to some of those songs they were inspirational in a way to get through the challenges we faced this last year.”

After singing as a group, recording individually could be a challenge. Members purchased recording and lighting equipment. They also had to account for background noise that could be picked up.

“For people who enjoy community singing it’s a bit of an adjustment,” Romano said.

Prior to the pandemic, members rehearsed at the First Congregational Church in Thetford and people who recorded at home gained an even greater appreciation for the space, Romano said. For her personally, she became a bit of a perfectionist, doing multiple takes. As an example, while singing in a group, if a member falls a couple beats short of a 15-count note, other singers will support them with their voices.

“I know that the other singers will cover it, but what happens when you’re recording on your own, it’s almost like you have a solo for every song, so I do think that the perfectionist in me did come out, that anything I submit needs to be perfect,” Romano said. “I needed to stop that thinking, and once I stopped that thinking, it made it easier.”

Romano is proud of the effort the members made to put a performance together. People learned new skills and tried new things. They were able to hear their voices together, even if they were not physically together.

“We kept saying it was an adventure and that’s exactly what it was,” Romano said. “Hopefully, people come and enjoy.”

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com.




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