• Suzanne Sutherland

It’s official: Pandemics are the worst.

Updated: Mar 10

2020 was a rough year for us all. Camerata had big plans to sing the most beautiful music, hold concerts for our wonderful fans, tour Europe and participate in the World Choir Games and release our long-awaited album "Of Magic and Mystery". Then, on a random Tuesday in March 2020 all that came tumbling down. The choir had to adapt to these new times and find a way to stay optimistic despite trying times.

We held online interviews with extraordinary conductors and composers from around the world. People like Eric Whitacre, Stacey Gibbs, Jake Runestad, Ralf Schmitt and Mat Wright graced us with their presence and lifted the hopes of down in the dumps choir. We also collaborated with our friends and stunning pop choir, the Barnsley Youth Choir, and created a virtual rendition of "Let the River Run" by Craig Hella Johnson. This song is one sung when we meet on our adventures across the globe.

Furthermore, 2020 has given Camerata a chance to reflect on our place in the world and decide on the directions we're taking. The Black Lives Matter movement sparked conversations about race and inclusivity in our own choir and we held virtual discussion forums to talk about them. The meaning of being a choir that prides itself on its mission for diversity is something 2020 has taught us to reflect on.

Yes, pandemics are the worst. Especially when you're an artistic ensemble unable to perform or make music together. But, there were beautiful moments in an otherwise devastating year. We'll never forget the chant of "My fellow South Africans" by our dear president and the jokes that came along with a nationwide alcohol ban. We are grateful to those of us who live to see another day and healthcare workers who are fighting for us on the frontlines.

2021 brings new hope and opportunity! We have adapted and are ready to take the year on no matter the challenges it may bring! Here's to 2021!

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