Returning to rehearsals
Finally, we are starting to plan our return to in person rehearsals! Zoom has carried us this far but I think a lot of us are feeling the fatigue and are excited to see friends in real life. With the return to some form of normality, we need to have an extra level of sensitivity for the various ways members have coped over the last many months. Some jumped to Zoom in a heartfelt attempt to keep the connection whilst others have quietly practiced on their own, finding Zoom rehearsals too sad. Some of us have kept on singing as a welcome distraction from everything going on in the world whilst others have had new challenges, meaning singing has taken a back seat. Wherever the lockdowns have taken us, I think we all have various concerns about returning to rehearsals.
Our committee and MPT have been working tirelessly to organise the next steps, always keeping our safety the number one priority. There’s lots to consider; who’s been vaccinated? How is our vocal health? Where can we rehearse with enough space to social distance? Most importantly, will there be toilets?! However, we must also be considerate of each other’s mental and physical health. It will probably be very overwhelming to see everyone, especially for those who have been isolated where the sudden social interaction may be exhausting. Some of us may not feel comfortable meeting at all for a few weeks or months after the government restrictions lift. Others of us may have lost the stamina for two and half hour rehearsals and may need regular breaks.
With all this to think about there is also a lot to celebrate. Standing back on the risers and being directed into harmonious singing will open the water works for some singers who have been solo for over a year. Having the prospect of shows starting to appear is a great motivator to get performance ready. Mostly I think a lot of us are looking forward to the social side of singing, a strong aspect of the BF community. Seeing friends that we might not have seen for over a year will make all the worry and stress of returning to rehearsals worth it.
Natasha Nickson, Bristol Fashion Chorus