TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The College of Southern Idaho choral program will be holding their annual Christmas concert Saturday, December 5--but thanks to the pandemic, it will be virtual.
This will be the first truly live-streamed concert the choirs have done. They're hoping to use their voices to share a message of comfort and joy to the community in a year many of us need it.
"Our goal is that the concert itself will be something familiar in the midst of a year of so much change and that feels different," explained Serena Jenkins Clark, CSI's choral director.
Prepping for this concert has been a process unlike any other. Every singer is masked every rehearsal, and they maintain six feet of distance from each other. These protocols will be carefully followed during this weekend's concert as well--plus a 15-minute intermission to allow for a break.
Performers say choir is an art form that depends on unity which has been hard to achieve during the pandemic.
"When we're in choir and we have to be spaced further apart, it's a bit more difficult to hear each other," explained Katie Hansen, a sophomore vocal major at CSI. "We have to learn to hear each other in different ways as we're in different proximities."
Jenkins Clark says she's been blown away by how well the students have been able to adapt to modified rehearsals.
"It is remarkable and I hope develops a resilience that I hope will serve them well as they walk through life post-pandemic," Jenkins Clark said.
Jenkins Clark says in difficult times like this, we often turn to the arts for comfort--and she hopes that continues even when the pandemic is over.
"This time will create such longing for live art, for live music, live concerts, live plays, that it will be a new renaissance post-COVID," Jenkins Clark said. "We'll live with masks, we'll live with distance, we'll live with air changes as long as we can make music together."
The concert kicks off Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m, but if you can't catch it, the recording is usually available for several days afterward.