2021-2022 Season

We have made decisions about safe singing based mostly on a study of singing and playing wind instruments, which was commissioned by the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, the National Association for Music Education and countless other performing arts organizations in North America. The study is being done by the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Maryland, and has gone on for well over six months. Actual singers and instrumentalists participated in this study, which measures the spread of aerosols by singers and wind players.

An update from this study said that it is safe to sing outdoors for longer periods of time. The new recommendation is singing for 30 minutes outside, socially distanced and masked, followed by a rest period for five minutes, then more singing can resume for 30 minutes, with a five-minute rest period for each half hour of singing.

Based on this new recommendation for safe singing, we are thrilled to continue in-person rehearsals outside for our full duration. The Songbirds rehearsals will run from 4:00 – 4:45 PM. Lyric Chorus rehearsals will run from 4:45 – 5:45 PM, so as to avoid as much darkness as possible. We hope that moving up Lyric Chorus rehearsal by 15 minutes won’t be a problem.

Unfortunately, St. Paul’s is not able to offer us outdoor space, because they also have a school and after care, and outride space is in use. We have researched many options for months, but the need for electricity, WIFI and affordability has ruled out many places.

But we are very happy to announce that Songbirds and Lyric Chorus will have rehearsals in the green space outside of Munholland United Methodist Church, 1201 Metairie Road, Metairie 70005. Jan Schulter, our Songbirds director, is the music director at the church, and she has worked it out with the minister to allow us to use their space. We are very grateful. We have often had concerts inside the church in the past, so some of you may be familiar with this location. For those of you who have singers in Concert Chorus as well as Lyric, let us know if you have issues getting to the two locations and we will try to help with solutions.

Concert Chorus will rehearse in the parking lot of the NOCC office at 5580 Canal Boulevard, about 7 blocks from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. We received a donation of some very nice carpet squares for the singers to sit on, and this will make it more comfortable for singers.

We understand that weather is a factor, as is darkness. We are adding more outdoor lights for the first couple of months. We will also offer Zoom options for those unable to get to rehearsal and for times when singing outside is not possible.

We will have Zoom only meetings for the following reasons:

1) It is too cold or rainy.
2) The city restricts outdoor gatherings to a smaller number than our enrollment. (This is unlikely. All of my doctors whom I have consulted say outside, distanced gatherings are safe, and that the fresh air and sunshine are healthy for the kids.)

We will give notification of Zoom-only rehearsals the Friday before based on weather predictions, and confirm or change on Monday morning if the forecast changes.