It was a full year ago where we made a statement that our 2020 concerts were affected due to the pandemic, with the cancellation of our charity and Fringe concerts. Our rehearsals stopped altogether at that point too, as we paused to reflect on how we adjust to the new world. Things were changing daily, and it was nearly impossible to make future-looking plans.
Fast-forward a year, and restrictions are still in place.
While other aspects of society have opened, and closed, and opened, and closed again, amateur choirs have had consistent direction to stay away. We have adjusted, of course: Zoom rehearsals have been underway since the start of the choir year in September 2020, and we have even started recruiting new members and auditioning them over Zoom too. The restrictions meant we never got as far as planning a Christmas concert in 2020, but we were eagerly working towards our Dunblane Cathedral appearance in May and our Fringe performance in August.
Alas, the time has come where we have had to make the difficult decision to postpone these concerts once again. Given the current outlook on when 50+ households will be able to meet indoors again and sing, it is clear that there would be insufficient time to polish our performance to the high standard we demand of ourselves, not to mention our audience expects. Our regular rehearsals over Zoom will continue, but our usual intensive run of rehearsals in August will not happen this year.
The Dunblane concert is postponed until May 2022. We are exploring the possibility of running much of this planned programme at a concert in or around Edinburgh in October/November 2021, but this is obviously highly dependent on the restrictions evolving in a sympathetic way before then. We will keep you updated.
The Fringe 2021 concert is cancelled. We plan to do a version of our Fringe 2021 programme in the Spring of 2022. We will also begin planning for our Fringe 2022 concert in August next year, in the hope that things will be well and truly back to normal by then. Updates will be posted on our website.
Our Christmas 2021 concert is also in the early stages of planning, with a tentative date of Saturday 14 December.
With all our plans, there remains uncertainty.
We are maintaining our links with the venues we use, as the way they are adapting to the evolving guidelines will vary. And while we are lucky to have a wide age-range of singers (our youngest is in her 20s, our eldest is in his 80s), it means a vaccine roll-out to the whole choir might take some time if that become a pre-requisite in the guidelines of being able to meet again.
What we do know is we will keep planning and adapting, so that when the time comes to celebrate the end of the pandemic, we will be there to celebrate it with you in song. How we have all missed that, and how we will never take it for granted again.