As the Milwaukee Children’s Choir kicks off the second semester of our 2020-2021 season, the Board of Directors want to take a moment to recognize the accomplishments the organization achieved over the past 8 months.
When COVID hit our doorstep last Spring and forced a literal shut-down of in-person operations, we were left in a precarious position. Like many performing arts organizations, the MCC was set up for in-person operations, including performances, rehearsals, retreats, concert tour, and so much more. Despite all the setbacks that were presented to us in 2020, we persevered, and our hard work showed when Family: A Virtual Concert premiered on December 12, 2020.
That labor does not go unnoticed by the Board. The challenges our administrative staff, artistic staff, choristers, and families have overcome is awe inspiring. Adapting to new methods of teaching and learning and mentally adjusting to the isolation caused by this traumatic event is just the tip of the iceberg. And therefore, we want to say thank you.
Thank you, staff and volunteers. Since the start of the pandemic, you have worked effortlessly to continue bringing content and programming to our singers. From the countless hours spent researching the pandemic and learning virus safety issues with singing, to developing in-person and virtual programming for the 2020-2021 season, you have made the start of this season a successful one. We could not be more appreciative of all your efforts.
Thank you, choristers and families. Your passion for singing is what makes our programming important and keeps our mission alive. For that, we want to thank you for joining in on every online rehearsal, despite the Zoom fatigue we all feel. And thank you for your flexibility, adjusting your entire mental model of what a choir is. Your dedication to music encourages us all.
Despite the challenges, we have found benefits in the virtual work that we are doing as we grow and adopt. One of the biggest advantages is the access to nation-wide composers and conductors. These professionals can easily join MCC’s rehearsals online, and fees are significantly reduced without the cost of travel and on-site needs. In the first semester alone, three composers joined our rehearsals and talked directly to our singers. Guest conductors/musicians give our choristers a new perspective, new information about music, help develop our singer’s voices, and so much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to expand music education for our singers.
More than that, MCC virtual performances reach more people. Online audience members can attend near or far, expanding the reach of our programming and impact. Plus, viewers can watch the performance at their convenience. When Family: A Virtual Concert premiered online on December 12, we saw more than 500 live viewers. Since the premiere date, the concert video has spiked with over 5,000 views. For comparison, an average of 300 individuals attends MCC’s in-person concerts. Our virtual performance had amazing impact, and we will continue to provide similar opportunities in the future, even once it is safe to gather in one room together again.
Speaking of virtual performances. Choristers are already working hard as they prepare for their upcoming mini concert entitled Unique. MCC choirs will sing songs that sound unique, have unique stories and perspectives, and use unique instruments. The concert will highlight the differences that make each of us special, and when those differences come together, we can make amazing music. Do not forget to mark your calendars for the premiere on Saturday, February 27.
While our future remains uncertain due to the ever-evolving pandemic, we hope that preventative measures, the introduction of vaccines, and new treatment protocols will continue to reduce the risk to everyone. In the interim, the MCC will continue to operate with the safety of our staff, singers, and families as our number one priority.
Board President Joe Ciancaglini and the MCC Board of Directors