When COVID-19 shut the world down in March, our Conductors felt the urgency to keep youth involved in the arts. After all, the pandemic has had a devasting effect on the musical life of our community. It is especially crushing for youth who lost access to the arts and music education opportunities through school or afterschool programs. With this in mind, artistic staff swiftly designed adaptive responses to the emerging education challenges caused by COVID.
A part of that response was creating a virtual version of our in-person program. Originally, Conductors found difficulty in recreating the rehearsal environment online. However, we continued to engage members successfully through the end of the 2019-2020 season by delivering weekly lessons via Zoom and video recordings.
MCC’s priority was maintaining social distancing while engaging choristers and providing them with ongoing programming. Artistic staff did a lot of adjusting to keep choral music education alive for our youth. Along the way, they learned valuable lessons about teaching online, and over the summer, adapted and improved our digital services in anticipation of the 2020-2021 season.
On September 8, MCC’s new season began virtually. In preparation, we purchased virtual equipment to improve our online classes and developed new opportunities, like music composition workshops. Then on September 15, rehearsals began to meet in-person on a bi-weekly basis. Safety is our first priority, and procedures were created to maintain the health of our singers, families and artistic staff. Rehearsals have been reduced to a maximum of 10 children per room and a maximum of 40 minutes to allow for appropriate air circulation. Additionally, pre-class temperature checks are required, individuals must keep a distance of 6 feet, and masks must be worn at all times, among other requirements.
As the pandemic intensifies and we continue to see limited opportunities in arts education, the Milwaukee Children’s Choir will maintain addressing this challenge head-on. We remain committed to supporting Milwaukee youth, their education, and their passions. We look forward to an exciting year ahead of us with wonderful opportunities for both our singers and the broader Milwaukee community.
Know a child who loves to sing? Registration is still open, and we have scholarships available. To learn more about a child singing with us, click here and submit the interest form.