At last, KT6 are back to rehearsing in-person, but how did we get here?
We're delighted to announce that from October 13th (lucky for us!) we have returned to rehearsing in-person with our new Musical Director, Jake Alexander. Our terms runs from 13th October to 15th December and we're already planning some fun events.
We will be introducing Jake in greater detail in another blog but first we wanted to reflect on what it's been like to get KT6 back together...
The past 18 months have been tough times for many people in many different ways: dealing with the challenges of lockdowns, the constant uncertainty of when things would improve and the fundamental health concerns that everyone faced. For KT6 our road of rehearsals ended in September 2020 after valiant efforts to maintain a weekly online rehearsals throughout the summer.
The truth is, everyone in KT6 had a little 'Zoom/Teams/Webex (insert virtual meeting platform as applicable) fatigue'; multiple periods of lockdown meant most people were working from home and spending all day behind a computer screen and on top of that it was extremely difficult to feel the joy of choir singing while standing alone in a corner of your home singing to a screen whilst on mute. For many people singing in a choir is about the spirit of community, being 'in it together', feeling the rush of hearing a harmony pull together, the vibrations in your chest and the rhythm in your feet.
That said, we achieved some great things in the circumstances: we celebrated our 4th Birthday, learnt Shallow by Lady Gaga, recorded and mixed 3 songs with every member singing their heart out into their phone and then mixing them together as a track and this culminated in us releasing a video of 'This Corrosion' on YouTube that got 1200 hits in 24 hours...now, *that* was exciting!
The KT6 Committee also changed in this time and a huge "Thank You" goes to all former Committee members who's efforts formed the group and lead it to be be what it was into 2020 and what it is capable of being in the future: Helen, Jenny, Emily, Rob, Liz, Natalie, Gemma without you KT6 would not have been able to hitch up its skirts and march forwards on to the horizon. Our former MD Matt Burdinowsky is a formidable human being, a talented arranger and was fiercely loyal to KT6 pushing us to be better than we believed we could be.
The new Committee identified 3 main priorities: A) maintain the connectedness of the group, B) work out how and when in-person rehearsals could resume within guidelines, C) find an MD to lead the way.
We held virtual events such as monthly members meetings, a wine tasting with @HannibalBrownWines, a quiz prepared by members and a 3-week virtual singing workshop with @SingingitBack teacher Mary Bourne. All of those, in someway helped KT6 still feel real.
At England's Tier 3 date (June 2020) many choirs, including us, expected to be able to start rehearsing in-person and it was crushing to discover that the DCMS guidance, only allowed 6 people to sing together indoors. We cancelled our in-person summer workshops and shelved all of the rehearsal planning and decided to hold-fast for what Tier 4 brought.
The 29th July 2020 and Tier 4 arrived and slowly everything started to fall into place. We secured our old rehearsal space, and launched our MD recruitment campaign. In July our adverts had very little traction but, I think, as in-person music slowly became more and more of a reality we started getting contacts. Within 2 weeks in late August we had a healthy selection of high quality and experienced MDs and choir leaders and we all felt a little overwhelmed and grateful that KT6 interested them.
We set ourselves a goal of resuming rehearsals by the 13th October and we beat that by a week!
It turns out the hard work isn't over...
Now our focus squarely turns to establishing a strong, vibrant and fun choir environment; supporting our existing members through the transformation and bringing onboard new enthusiastic singers; and seeking as many performance opportunities to 'get our voices out there' as possible.
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