Introduction to the SongFest Singing with COVID Resource and Blog Post
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The COVID pandemic has disrupted all parts of our society and group singing is no exception. Restrictions on gathering in numbers shut choirs down for several months. The not knowing how long this might go on and the loss of social interaction caused profound grief and a real sense of loss in the singing community. This was made very clear in the SongFest COVID Choir Survey which has so far had over 60 submissions.
Adding to this misery was often repeated stories of mass spreading events at choir rehearsals such as the now infamous Sagit County incident in USA. The press picked up on speculation that it wasn’t safe to sing while COVID was around. Some peak bodies in America declared that choir singing shouldn’t recommence until a vaccine was available.
In response, SongFest Inc. in conjunction with ANCA WA and VoiceMoves WA started a series of initiatives to draw together information and open discussions on the subject. The first of these was the above-mentioned survey to provide insight into the current attitude of WA choirs towards recommencing singing together and what support was most required. The SongFest Survey results were presented in the first of two webinars offered by SongFest/ANCA along with a discussion on “Strategies for Singing with and without COVID”. The first webinar also proposed that the way forward was for choirs to draft a well thought out Choir COVID Safety Plan using guidelines and templates provided by the WA Government.
The second webinar focused on the practical aspects of how to “Write your Own Choir COVID Safety Plan”. It was proposed that choirs needed to consider a PLAN A to use now while we have benign COVID conditions in WA as well as PLAN B for how to manage if there is renewed community transmission at some later time.
SongFest Inc. is building a library of informative press articles and scientific studies to help singers make informed choices about participating in group singing.
We invite you to join the conversation by adding your thoughts, discussion points and questions to this blog.