Here we are in the midst of May! I can’t believe how fast time flies.
As we begin to think about what life might look after the COVID-19 and we begin to think about coming to worship together again, there are a number of factors to consider. These factors affect nearly everything that we will do, especially when it comes to choral and congregational singing. On Tuesday, May 5th, the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), a group of scientists and numerous other choral/vocal organizations held a large webinar and the basic takeaways were that singing is a high-risk activity. This is due to the distance the droplets and aerosols can travel when we sing/hum. The question for us- how do we continue to make music even though singing is not recommended? The Lutheran faith is rich in music, especially in choral and congregational singing. Luther himself proclaimed “next to the word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to [us] so that [we] may proclaim the Word of God through music.” So how do we do this in a way that we can continue to proclaim the word of God? A small group met to discuss and brainstorm ways that we might continue to make music together as a community. There were many wonderful ideas and lots of great suggestions. Below are just a few of the suggestions that were discussed:
· Utilization of the Orff instruments
· Drum Circles
o This will include African drumming patterns and some dance and movement
· Revitalization of the handbell choir o Includes having anthems by the handbell choir AND the congregation joining in with the handbells at different parts of the service
· Use of different instruments to imitate sounds throughout service to give new ways to connect
o Rushing water
· Continuation of pre-recorded music to reduce risk of spreading germs
o This includes anthems, offerings, and any other sung pieces
· The use of movement
o Liturgical dance
While we aren’t entirely sure what the future holds for us in terms of our music and singing, there are so many exciting opportunities to continue to connect with each other; ways that go beyond music to many more of the arts and extend our abilities to praise our wonderful and beautiful Creator.
Luke Nicolay, Director of Worship & Music