Hi everyone! I am Boxi, Assistant Conductor of Vox Camerata. 2020 was a strange year for everyone, wasn’t it? For the first time in our history, in-person rehearsals had to cease and all live performances were cancelled! In hindsight, despite all the difficulties, it was amazing that the choir still managed to adapt with the times and continue singing with each other. As we enter 2021, let’s have a look what the choir was up to in the previous year!
With COVID-19 bringing all in-person rehearsals to a sudden halt, we moved the Vox experience online. Over 15 weeks, we took a break from our usual routine of learning new music to hone our musical knowledge through lessons in music theory, voice, poetics, and musicianship. For many of us, it was our first formal training on these topics! Together with our section mates, we learnt something new every week from our wonderful guest instructors. While it was a certainly new experience, many of us felt that it was a good break from our usual schedule, as we were able to build upon our fundamental musicianship and better our instrument. As one of the instructors, I personally found teaching and sharing what I know and have learnt from my experience to be enriching and fresh. In addition, being a new member to this community, it has also given me an opportunity to meet many kind and generous people who welcomed me and were patient with me. Thank you all!
It was not easy to get everyone accustomed to online rehearsals but I am grateful that the Voxxies were wonderfully supportive of this initiative. Special thanks to my partner Tabitha for helping me out along the way with the music theory lessons! She was very helpful and friendly throughout the planning and teaching process, and I have also learnt a lot from her on how to communicate relatively complex ideas in a simplified manner. We have all learnt a lot over this period, not only of music but also of each other during our usual circle time sessions. During trying times, the importance of communal bonding can hardly be overlooked. Through sharing on snippets of our lives every week, we managed to catch up and check in on one another even when we cannot meet face to face.
Sing & Greet 2020
Then came October, and it is time for our biannual Sing and Greet recruitment drive! The pandemic and its accompanying restrictions on arts and cultural activities made it a bigger challenge for us to hold the event and invite new members to our community. Yet, through adapting our event onto the online platform, we managed to sing (albeit with our mics on mute) and greet many new people, with some of them joining us in our music-making adventures as new Voxxies!
Annual Christmas concert, Advent!ure 2020
A typical Vox Camerata Christmas season would be spent carolling in public spaces and intimate shows to our loved ones. With live performances restricted in December, we still wanted Christmas to go on – differently! Thus, Advent!ure: We’re All Home For Christmas! was born.
We reorganised our choir into multiple quintets, held rehearsals in each other’s homes across the island, and came together (over Zoom). The result was a heart-warming performance of our favourite carols.
What a wonderful way to mark the end of what is, truly, an eventful and challenging year for everyone.
In 2021, many uncertainties yet lies ahead – for life, and indeed for singing. As we begin a new year, we will resume small-group rehearsals and in the hope that we will be able to bring live music to you once more. If you are interested in joining us, save the date – 27 February 2021 – as we are inviting all of you to our upcoming in-person Sing & Greet!
We cannot wait to see you all very soon.
Cheers to another year of friendship, community and music-making!