Messages and updates from artistic director G. Kevin Dewey.
Rehearsal Standing Arrangement (posted October 28, 2021)
After trying several different arrangements in the HFC Band Room, Choir Room, Adray Auditorium, and FCPAC Lincoln Ballroom (which is rarely available, btw), PLUS studying the data from the survey Sierra sent out to all current Vanguard members, I've decided that Vanguard Voices will rehearse in a horseshoe arrangement in the band room for the first and third periods of rehearsal. Since the horseshoe arrangement doesn't translate well into an on-stage standing arrangement, I'll leave it for all choristers to sit anywhere they want within their section-I'll even encourage 1sts and 2nds to intermingle! (Oh, my!) The middle period of rehearsal will be soprano/alto and tenor/bass sectionals in the choir room, with the non-sectionalizing group taking their break at that time. The only exceptions to this will be when we occasionally sing in a fully-mixed arrangement, for which I'll produce a seating chart document, and then, of course, when we approach our December 11 concert, when we'll start rehearsing in our concert arrangement.
Update on Face Masks (posted August 17, 2021)
Henry Ford College is now requiring masks “in indoor spaces for everyone … regardless of vaccination status.” You will need to provide your own face mask for rehearsals; the mask should cover your nose and mouth the entire time you’re indoors at the college. We have purchased the ProTec mask for HFC student musicians; I’ve been wearing it for a couple of months and can recommend purchasing one for yourself. A limited number of single-use masks will be also available thanks to a donation from one of our members.
Returning to In-Person Singing (posted July 2021)
After the strangest year for choral music in the history of the world(!), I’m thrilled to be going back to live rehearsals and performances with the bands and choruses at Henry Ford College, and with Vanguard Voices & Brass! Vanguard Voices will be rehearsing at Henry Ford College again, starting Thursday, September 9. For now, we’ll be more spread out during rehearsal, and masks will be worn by those not fully vaccinated (they’ll be optional for those who are “fully vaxxed”). Rehearsals will be shorter (two hours, including a 15-minute break) and I will choose repertoire which isn’t too vocally taxing (while still being just as awesome as in the past!). Please watch our website for more details about the start of our season, our repertoire, and performances. I look forward to seeing you this season, whether you sing with us or attend our concerts!
Keeping the Music Going (posted December 2020)
Kevin appeared on the November 18 episode of “Community Connections” on CDTV (City of Dearborn Television). He spoke with EmmaJean Woodyard from the Dearborn Community Fund as part of a series on how the Dearborn arts community is staying active during the pandemic. Click here to watch Kevin's interview.
Thoughts on a Virtual Season (posted Summer 2020)
I strongly believe there is no substitute for live rehearsal and live performance, especially for choral music and for vocal jazz. Singing together in the same space is one of the great joys of the choral art. Hanging out, and all the social aspects of community music making are important, as well, to our physical and mental well-being. However, the only alternative to zero rehearsals and performances, as I see it, is remote learning and virtual performance opportunities. I hope that the novelty of this type of choral collaboration will help carry us through one season. I sincerely pray that we'll be able to get back together by fall of 2021, which would be made most possible through the development of effective and reliable treatment and vaccination.
In the interest of safety for all involved, I will not be directing in-person choral rehearsals or performances during the 2020-2021 season. Instead, my plan is to have the music performance groups which I direct, including Vanguard Voices, operate remotely. This means learning music via practice tracks (mp3 recordings), synchronous & recorded rehearsals (using Zoom), and online practice tools (e. g., My Choral Coach). In the place of live concert performances, I will be producing Virtual Chorus projects by these groups, for public release (YouTube).
First Virtual Chorus Project (posted April 2020)
During the first weeks of Michigan’s Stay at Home order, many Vanguard Voices members, along with singers from Henry Ford College vocal ensembles, participated in a virtual chorus project. Choristers submitted individual recordings of the official HFC school song, “Pro Bono Omnium (For the Good of All)” and the recordings were mixed into one “virtual” chorus. See “Pro Bono Omnium” on YouTube.