The Laurens County Chorale welcomes new singers as the choir begins rehearsals of its spring 2021 repertoire. The initial rehearsal will be Monday, January 25, 2021, 7:00 pm, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1357 Hwy 56 S, Clinton, SC. More details about the chorale can be found at www.laurenschorale.org.
The spring 2021 repertoire for the chorale will focus on humor and fun in choral music. The music of P.D.Q. Bach will be included in some way, since his work seems to fit into the musical humor genre in many ways. According to Peter Shikele, P.D.Q. Bach was one of the sons of the great J. S. Bach. Shikele has done significant musicological research on P.D.Q. Bach and has brought many of his more famous works into the public eye, including Iphegenia in Brooklyn, the Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion, and The Seasonings.
Chorale repertoire for the spring of 2021 will also include Ernst Toch’s “Geographical Fugue.” The fugue was a ground-breaking setting for speech choir at its premier in 1930. The piece creates rhythmic counterpoint using the names of randomly chosen locations from around the globe, for instance, Trinidad, Lake Titicaca, and Popocateptl. Although it is the composer’s most-performed creation, Toch himself dismissed it as a diversion. That diversionary idea will be found throughout the Laurens County Chorale’s spring 2021 concert presentation–a diversion from the stressful and dark milieu of COVID-19.
The chorale has found ways to safely rehearse during the COVID-19 era, using masks, social distance, well-ventilated space, and limiting rehearsal time in the same space. The chorale’s rehearsal and performance protocols are in line with CDC recommendations and with the most current scientific research regarding COVID-19 transmission during singing. To our knowledge no singer has contacted COVID-19 due to their participation in any chorale rehearsal.
The Laurens County Chorale intends to continue to perform as long as it is safe to do so. Instead of a public performance for the 2020 holiday season, the chorale released a video concert called Merry and Bright!, which can be ordered through the chorale’s website https://laurenschorale.org/chorale-store-and-order-forms/. Details about the choir’s spring performance–whether the performance will be live or videoed–are to be determined in the near future.