Choir turns to virtual rehearsals as singers dial in from home

A choir with dozens of members has turned to virtual rehearsals in response to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus
lockdown.

The Battersea Power Station Community Choir, which usually gets together every Thursday evening, now meets for rehearsals on the online video conferencing app Zoom.

More than 50 singers dial in from their homes as the choir vows to continue singing through the pandemic.

Choir director Sam Evans, 40, told the PA news agency: “I think people really appreciated the opportunity to meet as a group, even if it’s behind a computer screen, and have that community engagement that they enjoy every week when we can actually meet face to face.”

One of the choir’s current big numbers is You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ by The Righteous Brothers.

The choir performing together before the coronavirus outbreak led to restrictions on movement (The Battersea Power Station Community Choir /PA)
The choir performing together before the coronavirus outbreak led to restrictions on movement (The Battersea Power Station Community Choir /PA)

Mr Evans added: “As we get deeper into this period of self-isolation and social distancing, people are going to find it more and more difficult, because it runs so counter to our nature as humans.

“So these opportunities for people to come together on a virtual platform, particularly through singing, because it’s such an uplifting thing to do, I think is going to become more and more important.

“So I’m really pleased that our members have already got a forum through which they can do that.”

He said they knew it was not going to be possible to get 50 people to sing together on the same beat online due to delays, so they also learn songs, play quizzes and hear from some members about their experience of isolation over the previous few days.

Alex Baker, director of communities and sustainability at Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) and founder of the Battersea Power Station Community Choir, said: “It was lovely to see how much joy it brought to everyone.

“Staying at home in isolation can be daunting so continuing to meet weekly online is important to help maintain a sense of community, battle loneliness and keep morale high.”

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