Our Current Season
A Message from our Music Director,
So much has changed in the world since we performed Carmina burana on March 1. When the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale gathered on Tuesday, March 10 for its first Pops rehearsal, little did we know that it would be the last time we would be able to rehearse for quite some time. This unprecedented moment in history has changed everything. It is likely that from now on events in our lives will be discussed as "before COVID-19" and "after COVID-19."
It is at times like this when we most need music in our lives. Sadly, the very thing that gives our singers and our audience members solace is also something that has the greatest potential for spreading this virus.
Singing is one of the highest risk activities for spreading COVID-19 because of the droplets that are expelled as we sing. Singing propels these droplets further than speaking, and it is known that these droplets can spread COVID-19. To make matters worse, microscopic particles called aerosols are also released into the air when we sing, and these travel much farther and can hang in the air for a much longer time, increasing the risk of transmission.
The health and safety of our chorale members and our audience is and will always be our top priority. Based on current guidance from the CDC, PA State Department of Health, and Allegheny County Health Department, the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale's Board of Directors, our staff, and I have made the difficult decision to cancel the first half of our 2020-2021 Season. This autumn, the Chorale had planned to sing the National Anthem at a PIttsburgh Pirates game, as well as present our annual Festival of Choirs, Holiday concerts, and Messiah Sing Along. These events are cancelled, along with our 35th Anniversary Gala scheduled for October. (Ticket holders for the Gala will receive further communication on that event shortly.) The Board of Directors and staff hope to announce the abbreviated season schedule in early 2021, and they will be developing health and safety protocols for rehearsals and concerts.
Just because we won't be meeting in person doesn't mean that we won't keep singing. We absolutely are still going to make music. Thanks to the ingenuity of many in the choral community, there are new online tools that we can use to put together virtual choir performances. Our "maiden voyage" into the world of virtual choirs is our "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" video that will air during the Friday, August 7 Pittsburgh Pirates 7:05 pm television broadcast at the 7th inning stretch. I hope you will watch for us!
Until choral rehearsals and performances are deemed safe, the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale will develop alternative programming for the 2020-2021 season. Our Chorale Accompanist Bryan Sable and I recently launched “Pairings with the PCC,” an online video series in which we reflect upon past PCC concerts (while drinking something that pairs well with the concert!). We have several more of those on the way, so look for another "Pairings with the PCC" in your Inbox soon! These light-hearted videos will give you the chance to spend a little time with the PCC when we can't be performing for you.
Of course, we can't wait to get back to performing for you, and we can't wait to gather once again to make music together. To be honest, I always considered a dangerous profession something like changing the light bulbs on top of the Empire State Building. It never occurred to me that "Choral Conductor" or "Choral Singer" would ever be on the list, but here we are.
Thank you for your support of the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale. You are a valued member of the PCC family and I look forward to that wonderful day when we can all be in the same room again, sharing music that will be sweeter, more beautiful, and more uplifting than ever before.
Please stay safe and be well.
Dr. Susan Medley
Music Director, Pittsburgh Concert Chorale