High Holy Days Choir Magic

One of my favorite things is working with my choirs.  While COVID-19 has thrown a large wrench into some of the best activities ever – gathering and singing – I have been so impressed with my Adult Choir.  Last year before the High Holy Days, I wracked my brains to find a way to bring the choir together in a safe manner.  I felt comfortable that we could warm up briefly, extremely socially distanced in the Sanctuary.  Originally, I had Ken previously record the organ tracks to layer the voices over.  But it turns out that without listening to the singers singing words and taking breaths, those were not correctly paced.  So… new plan!  With our amazing tech team, I had 4 empty classrooms and recorded one vocal part with each person in a separate room and Ken for 2 takes of a track.  I then layered another vocal part as they listened to Ken and the first voice group.  We kept layering until all 4 voice parts were captured.  Then the recordings were mixed to form one recording.  Originally my goal was 5 choir pieces that I felt were absolutely necessary.  I then created a list of pieces I wanted but understood that those pieces might not happen.  Well, the choir and the tech team completely surprised me by staying late at night and recording my entire page of pieces!


Fast forward to Summer 2021.  I was so thrilled to be able to work with my choir again.  We were vaccinated and ready to sing in harmony.  We had briefly met to record for the TCC and I will admit that when we got together to record Samachti in April, I cried upon hearing voices in 4 part harmony again. It was tremendously moving, voices joined together in song, people together in a room. The High Holy Day choir began rehearsing in late July and we were making excellent progress!  They sounded amazing and we were learning some new pieces.  But then the dreaded Delta variant hit and we were forced to pivot.  The temple had a mask mandate and the High Holy Days were moving to a virtual format.  I now knew that our ability to safely sing like before had passed.  But we were determined to push through.  We met and sang and recorded with masks on and with social distancing. We were able to record 11 more pieces for the High Holy Days! Any piece you saw a slide for and the choir singing was made in August.  I want to thank the choir for their phenomenal talent, good nature and flexibility!  Through an impossible time, you were able to help bring music into everyone’s homes – an important and wonderful thing.  We don’t know what the future will bring but we know that it is better with the power of music! And for those of you interested in singing, keep a lookout for singing opportunities for the choir for Chanukah.  We will hopefully be meeting in November to prepare for our Chanukah Bash in the beginning of December.