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Hope and joy in the time of Corona

Life is full of firsts and we certainly find ourselves chalking up a lot of these in the strange times in which we find ourselves. 

None-more so than the virtual choir rehearsal I found myself attending recently. I’m a member of multi-award-winning Amersham A Cappella, the national champions of the ladies’ barbershop world. We’re an ingenious bunch, with an infectiously enthusiastic MD, and we will not be defeated by the mere constraint of not being able to meet in person.

And so I found myself in my study at 8pm, connecting to Zoom and 58 of my AAC team mates.  I was expecting an hour or so of attempted virtual singing, a bit of chat and most of all a laugh.

What I wasn’t expecting was the overwhelmingly emotional experience I had – I hadn’t appreciated just how much I’d been “getting on” with the rapidly evolving global situation, and suddenly seeing all my compadres, but not being able to physically be with them, really brought it home.

But part of that experience was also about joy (we did have a laugh!) and hope. It turns out that 58 people singing together on Zoom doesn’t really work – the delay makes it hilariously awful! But we could connect, we could see and be with each other for an hour, and that connection was extremely powerful and much needed psychologically. 

Perhaps my evening could be summed up best in the words of the latest song we’re learning – 

“I’ve never felt this strong.

I’m invisible how could this go wrong? 

No, here: here’s where we belong. 

I see a road ahead 

There’s a road ahead

I would dare to tread…”

Emma Haigh