Q&A: Stay at Home Choir11:20, 29th March 2020
Here at C&O, we’re excited to hear about the new initiatives springing up online, enabling people to stay musically connected from their homes during the coronavirus crisis. The musicians behind the Stay at Home Choir – Tori Longdon and Jamie Wright – speak to the Assistant Editor about their project.
What is the Stay at Home Choir and how does it work?
The Stay at Home Choir is an online community of musicians who want to keep making great music together although we can’t meet up at the moment. We’re teaming up with some of the country’s greatest classical and a cappella talent and giving you the opportunity to interact with them, learn about their music and sing with them over the next few weeks.
How did you come up with the idea?
The music industry thrives on large gatherings, whether they are rehearsals or concerts. Most live music groups have had to stop their activities for the time being and are looking for other ways to come together online.
We wanted to try and find the silver lining in this challenging situation. Choirs aren’t able to meet together in their usual rehearsal venues, but the removal of physical barriers that comes with ‘going digital’ means that thousands of singers from all over the world can now interact and make music together.
Who are the people behind it?
The initiative was set up by Tori Longdon and Jamie Wright – professional singers, conductors and music educators in London. They experienced first hand the cultural gap which was left by the suspension of concerts, rehearsals and other musical activities and decided to do something about it.
Who is the choir for?
The choir is for everybody! It’s open-access and there are lots of supportive resources available for people with a variety of singing abilities, and we are doing our best to accommodate the whole spectrum of different access requirements, though most will have had some previous singing experience. Our members are connected by a shared love of choral music, and the desire to sing!
How will the choir be working with professional choirs?
We’ve got an amazing line up of musicians involved with the Stay At Home Choir. For each of our projects, singers will be able to access learning materials and specially made video content from the groups involved, and of course sing with them (virtually) on the final track!
What do you hope the choir will do for people in these challenging times?
We initially started with the intention of putting some good news onto people’s newsfeeds. Now, over 2,000 members later our aim is still simple: to keep people inspired, engaged and connected, and to keep them making music together.
We’re dealing with isolation on a scale that we’ve never seen before and so it’s important that people still have somewhere to go to interact with other similarly minded people online and to feel like their still connected to their fellow singers, and to the wider choral community around the world.
How can people get involved?
Getting involved is easy, just head to stayathomechoir.com and enter your email address to receive access to all our free resources. You can also engage with us on Twitter @stayathomechoir and on Instagram and Facebook by searching ‘StayAtHomeChoir’. We’re a friendly bunch and we’re here to answer all your questions, so get involved today!
The Stay at Home Choir’s next project runs in partnership with The King’s Singers.