Cathedral Voices Chamber Choir takes its music to the internet for Wyoming’s first-ever virtual choral festival this spring. The Choir’s 3rd biennial Spring Festival will go forward next month in a purely digital format, streaming online May 16 & 17, from Jackson Hole.
“This has been a wonderfully exciting—and daunting—change for us,” said Cathedral Voices Director Laura Huckin. “But it’s also very moving to know that now everyone and anyone can participate in the Festival from where they are, around the country and around the globe.”
Back in March, Cathedral Voices made the difficult decision to cancel its original festival plans as COVID-19 swept the nation. “The thought was heart-breaking,” noted Board Member, Stephanie Capps. It soon became apparent that music, perhaps more than ever, is an “essential service for everyone’s soul, everyone’s sanity,” Huckin noted.
So instead of canceling completely, Cathedral Voices decided to rise to the occasion.
The 2020 Spring Festival was going to be a three-day event with performances, a guest conductor, and all-day clinics for regional musicians. Instead, it will be a two-day musical and educational experience that anyone in the world with internet access can tune into. The Virtual Festival includes interest sessions and interviews with notable conductors and composers from across the country, and two virtual performances by the Spring Festival’s Virtual Choir.
The Festival’s Virtual Choir is comprised of singers from half a dozen vocal ensembles from Teton, Lincoln, and Sublette Counties: Cathedral Voices, Pinedale Festival Choir, Petrichoral, Salt River Chamber Chorus, Treble Voices, and Voices 8. Combined, they are nearly seventy voices strong.
Singers are watching virtual rehearsals and participating in Zoom sessions to prepare their individual parts, which will be recorded and then combined digitally. Even Guest Conductor Dr. Geoffrey Boers from University of Washington is centrally involved, crafting technique videos and directing an online masterclass. “The heroic efforts by these choirs to come together to share their music, will be an inspiration to the community,” added Dr. Boers, “Singing words of hope and comfort into these troubled times.”
Jackson’s Center for the Arts will put the videos together to create an online virtual performance for all to hear and see, and is also facilitating the Festival live stream. “We are incredibly fortunate that organizations like the Center for the Arts and the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund threw their support behind this big change in plans,” Huckin said. “We couldn’t do this without their involvement.”
The Spring Festival is supported in part by the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, a grant from the Wyoming Arts Council through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, Center of Wonder/Town and County Arts for All, and Cathedral Voices’ Business Partners and Season Sponsors. Show your Appreciation and support local businesses!