June 2020 COVID-19 Update

Letter to Our Supporters

The Board of Directors of SingYourJoy Young Adult Chorus Society appreciates your support of SingYourJoy, and we know you are concerned about our future and wellbeing.

You are probably aware that our directors Christine Chepyha and Gordon Miller together with the board made the heartbreaking decision to cancel our April concerts and close the rehearsal season early in March. There were tears shed as some of the singers came together to return their music and gather for one last socially distanced time on Monday March 16th. 

Every Monday since, a smaller group gathers online through Zoom meetings to maintain their connections and sing together from the safety of their own homes. Singers in Victoria and also in London (Ontario), Vancouver, Vernon, Germany, and as far away as New Zealand and Japan have participated. While these gatherings can in no way replace the actual in-person choir experience, they do connect the singers with one another and help ease the feeling of isolation.

read some important words from our singers

The 2019/2020 season was positioned to be one of SingYourJoy’s strongest in our history. Our Board of Directors are invested and excited.  We have successful grant applications for a 10th anniversary commissioned choral work by Brian Tate and positive funding for a West Shore expansion through the Victoria Foundation. Our committed and experienced artistic directors have a clear vision of where they’re taking the organization for the long term. The 2020/2021 season would include: a collaborative autumn concert series with the Linden Singers; and, the celebration of our 10th anniversary in March 2021 with alumni and current singers participating in a gala concert weekend. 

And then suddenly things changed. 

Without our scheduled concerts, we lost ticket revenue and the many donations (large and small) that we receive as a result of our associated fundraising efforts. Overall, this financial loss has put our organization in a tenuous position.

We need your help.

In the summer non-singing months, our co-directors continue planning and preparing for the coming season.  They also maintain and grow their relationships with returning and prospective singers. This year that work is doubly important. 

Recent scientific studies highlight the potential spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus by droplets and aerosols, with aerosol transmission much more likely in a group of singers. Right now, singing in groups larger than 4 is infeasible due to infection risks. The time for large groups of people to gather – for concerts, church services, sporting events – will not happen until the population has achieved a high level of screening, or a vaccine has been developed.

This means that choirs will not be able to meet in person for some time. Our co-directors are part of a large international choral community re-imagining how we work as choralists at a distance. This becomes a vital role for Gordon and Christine in the coming months.

If a choir is only about singing and performing – there will be no choir for a while. If choir is about teaching and learning, growing, connecting, community, cultural exploration and transmission, and innovating – we will find a way to have choir.

~ Kellie Walsh (President, Choral Canada)

$15,000 in bridge funding will get us through this time of change and ensure that SingYourJoy is able to continue to teach and encourage young singers. We need to be well positioned to successfully return to the stage as restrictions ease.

While we know that you might be overwhelmed right now with this kind of request from many worthy organizations, we ask you to consider SingYourJoy for a special, significant one-time, tax-receipted contribution.  All major donors are recognized and honoured on our website and in concert programs. If you have any questions about this appeal for SingYourJoy I encourage you to reach out to us directly. Our Fundraising Chairperson, Stephen Tyler and I are both available to take your call.

read about our 2020 Fundraising Campaign progress

Thank you on behalf of our Co-Directors, our Board, Singers and Alumni — thank you on behalf of all the young adults who have yet to experience their SingYourJoy moment. We appreciate your time and consideration.

Peter Scales 
Board Chair 

Stephen Tyler
Fundraising Chair 

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SingYourJoy Young Adult Chorus Society
CRA Registered Charity: 849518931RR0001
1355 Mitchell Street Victoria, BC V8S 1P9