So, just how is it possible to qualify as a chorus member in these restrictive, pandemic times? Spangles Ladies’ Harmony Chorus has found a solution and four members have proved that it’s possible to learn songs and pass auditions from a distance.
When the first lockdown started, Spangles’ management team had to think on its feet to keep everyone engaged and focused. Zoom meetings were fun to keep in touch with each other but, because of latency, it was impossible for everyone to sing together. Luckily, the chorus has a totally dedicated Musical Director in Valerie Lynch, who was willing to give up two days every week to offer individual, online coaching.
Although a little daunting to begin with, every chorus member came on board. Valerie, newly-appointed just as the pandemic started in 2020, commented “Our whole singing lives were turned upside down, but we were all determined to work together and not let a pandemic beat us. In every cloud, there is a silver lining and it gave me a unique opportunity to learn each and every member’s voice and capabilities”.
Since March 2020, Spangles has had four virtual members join at various stages:
Maria Osborne joined just before lockdown and passed all her auditions by 21 May 2020. When Spangles finally got back together, rehearsing outdoors, in June, Maria was presented with her Spangles star badge, which denotes full membership.
Susie Wyatt joined Spangles as a bass on 17 September 2020 and only managed a couple of rehearsals before border restrictions came in. She has just passed with flying colours and will receive her badge as soon as the chorus gets back together again.
Helen Tonkin joined as a tenor on 15 October 2020 and has just two more auditions to pass.
Jane Harris joined the chorus as a bass on 21 January 2021 and has just passed her first audition.
Although Spangles’ last public performance was to fundraise for the flood victims on 28 February 2020, its members have learned 7 songs and made 5 virtual videos since lockdown. “Nothing keeps us down and with most of us unable to see our families, we have all found comfort and support from our chorus sisters. Spangles is like family to us and we can’t wait to be together again, doing what we do best” said Lyn Baines, Chorus Manager.
Spangles is a ladies’ a cappella chorus, singing in four part harmony. They normally rehearse every Thursday, from 10.15 am to 1.15 pm at Centro Municipal Las Claras, Calle Helena, Los Narejos, Los Alcázares but, in the meantime, if you’d like to know more about joining them as a virtual member, email them: firstname.lastname@example.org