District 5 Zoom Choir

Liz Norris, leader of the District 5 Choir, talks here about working with the choir online.

For some reason, considering we don’t normally meet at this time of year, I decided to offer to put our Choir on line, through Zoom! Offer it, then work out how to do it seems to be how I work! But, having made the offer, it made me do it. So we are, for now, District 5 Zoom Choir. We meet at our usual time of 1.30 on Wednesdays and have had a trial run, plus two sessions.

The trial run was hysterical – everyone trying to speak at once, everyone heard except me! I soon found their mute button and how to use it! Sadly, Zoom doesn’t work for singing together. There is a time lag which current technology can’t overcome. So every member sings on their own, in their own home, but to the music I zoom for them. And it is so lovely to see everyone on the screen singing. As the “host” I feel as if they are altogether in one room! And we all get very excited.

Here I am, in my home, waiting to start. For those who have not used Zoom, it is a free service for up to 30 members in a session lasting 40 minutes. I send out the date and time to the participants with joining instructions and they tune in. All of us are new to Zoom and feel proud that, as well as singing, we have learned new technology. Most of us hadn’t even heard of it a month ago! Now people are playing bridge, having virtual meals with families, and the Association Executive are using it every week for their meetings.

We can all see each other on the screen so it is a lovely way to keep in touch and to support each other. I stream a fun or jolly song at the beginning and at the end. We do a voice warm up exercise and we work on one new item. I load everything into a folder for each session, then I can access each item quickly. That is the theory! But the feedback has been encouraging.

In recognition of Easter we sang along to “In Your Easter Bonnet” and the choir wore hats for the occasion. In the pipeline we have “Thank you for the Music” from Abba and “Mull of Kintyre” from Paul McCartney and Wings. These songs we sing in unison so it is quick and easy.

We are currently learning “Music Speaks” in two part harmony which we sincerely hope we will be singing at the World Inner Wheel Day Service in Manchester on January 10th.

The District 5 Zoom Choir is open to all members in our District and we would be delighted to see more new faces in it. I am a great believer in giving shape to the week during Lockdown. What better way than marking the midpoint by joining us on Wednesdays? You don’t even have to be able to sing because we can’t hear you!

Please contact district5innerwheel@gmail.com if you would like to give it a try.

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