Messages and updates from artistic director G. Kevin Dewey.
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.