On the cusp of the turn of a calendar page ending this challenging year, I am taking some time to remember the silver linings that have been as much a part of this year as the difficulties. Please understand that I also acknowledge and have experienced darker moments, and am thinking often of those who have been even more affected by the quicksand of these times. It is my hope that, even for those experiencing the darkest times, some of these moments will resonate and bring a sense of hope as we all look forward to a better 2021. I have selected 10 – I’ll bet you can think of more…

  1. Our membership rallied to support each other right away in April, voting on a budget that allowed for a period over which dues could be waived and also voting on a change in our rules to allow for member donations to anonymously be used to support other members struggling to pay their dues.
  2. Virtual rehearsals have not allowed us to sing together, but they have provided regular, weekly touchstones for our membership and – for our two long-distance members – have provided the opportunity to be with us face to face and experience our time together in a way not otherwise possible.  We have loved being able to spend more time with them!
  3. We celebrated a happy milestone for one of our directors, as we attended her wedding in whatever way we could. Whether in person, linked in by live-stream, or simply in spirit, her wedding was a great reflection for us of life’s continuing joys.
  4. Integrating features such as our “Getting to Know You” segment into our rehearsals have given us considerably more opportunity to hear from members about their lives and their connection to music.  During our in-person rehearsals, we have not typically had time for such intimate conversations, each of which have provided a spotlight on the unique individuals who come together in harmony.  
  5. In spite of our awareness of what we cannot do during this challenging time, we have tried to focus on what we can do: continuing to learn new music and experiencing an incredible number of guest presenters who have each provided new insights, shared their stories, and helped us learn more about our craft.
  6. The use of videos from various sources for some of our warmups has enriched our perspectives on preparing our “instruments” to be the best singers we can be, and the classes offered by Harmony, Inc. and others have empowered us to continue our ongoing independent learning.
  7. We have kept our community as a safe space in this uncertain time. However, even so, we welcomed a guest into our midst who was interested in exploring membership and has now become a full member. We welcome her, and others who may wish to join our chorus family!
  8. Active volunteering continued to keep our organization moving forward, including by members of our Board and Music Team, as well as individuals who have led and participated in various fundraising and other working groups. As an “active member” organization, there is always plenty of opportunity for each of us to find ways to contribute – many hands make light work!
  9. Behind-the-scenes support to members, keeping connections and reinforcing the importance of each individual, was ongoing throughout the year. Those quiet connections, so different from a group Zoom experience, have continued to serve and strengthen our community.
  10. Over the course of this year, your treasurer and I have been in a position to see the generosity coming from all corners of our organization, with donations large and small offered up to provide support to our sisters in harmony…as well as many, many acts of kindness.  You truly are a special group!

We don’t yet know what this next calendar year holds in store for us, but as the old tongue-twister says, “…we’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not.”  And, as we sing together, “come the wild, wild weather…we shall always be friends.”  Happy new year!