Dear Manitoba Choral Association Members,
Here we are on the precipice of a second choral season of uncertainty regarding our choral programs. These are indeed extraordinary times and we are thinking of you as you wrestle with challenging decisions regarding your programming this fall. We both recognize and empathize with how the pandemic continues to impact our choral community, the stability of our programs, and the very nature of our art form.
Having said that, the pandemic has provided many of us with an opportunity to reevaluate how our programs operate and it has forced us to think creatively about how we share our art with others. I am continually amazed at the incredible level of creativity being expressed as we find new ways to do choir and engage with our respective communities. I am also thankful for both the resilience and patience demonstrated by the choral community, embracing the diverse ways that choirs have chosen to manage the pandemic.
Over the last year, MCA has been actively advocating for provincial guidelines to help us return to singing in person. Unfortunately, to date, our efforts have not resulted in anything tangible. This means that at this time, MCA is not able to provide specific safety guidance for you as you contemplate a return to in-person singing. Instead, we are encouraging you to continue to rely on the guidance of Manitoba’s provincial health authorities. These include the “COVID-19 Guidelines for Vocalists and Instrumentalists” (updated March 2021) and guidance for group gatherings, and indoor/outdoor recreation and sports (updated summer 2021).
In addition to our own government’s public health guidance, we are also closely watching what our choral colleagues from around the country are doing and you can find links to those specific organizations on our website. In addition to these resources, we are also following with interest the ongoing studies regarding COVID-19 transmission and singing and you will find links to those updates as they become available on our website as well
Whatever your decisions may be moving forward into the fall, we wish you all the best. We stand with you in longing for the time when we can sing together, in person, again!
Yours in song, Stuart
Dr. Stuart Sladden President, Manitoba Choral Association