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Community choir uses technology to keep rehearsals running

UK News | Published:

Richmond Community Choir leader Chris Mitchell says the aim is to keep social contact for members.

A community choir is using technology to ensure it can continue rehearsing, despite all its members being in lockdown.

The Richmond Community Choir, which normally meets at Orleans Primary School in Twickenham, is using conferencing app Zoom to enable the singers to continue their weekly sessions.

Choir leader Chris Mitchell, of Emsworth, Hampshire, said the aim of continuing the practice sessions online was to allow the 55 members to keep their social contact while learning All The Things You Are by Jerome Kern.

Richmond Community Choir in an earlier concert (Richmond Community Choir/PA)

“However, the aim of the Richmond Community Choir was different. The members wanted to make contact with each other and the session was invaluable in that the singers were able to learn the notes for this song.”

Mr Mitchell, 74, a retired music lecturer, explained that they have had to overcome some technical difficulties, mainly caused by the time delay of the music and singing being relayed over the internet.

He said 18 members took part in the first online rehearsal and added: “What is not possible with this conference app is for everyone to hear each other whilst singing at the same time, owing to latency.

“All of the participants, apart from the musical leader, mute their own video and audio, since to be unmuted would mean that each singer would be singing at a different time from the others.”

He added: “It’s not perfect but if you have a choir you get together, so it’s a way of saying hello and being social and making some progress with our rehearsals.”

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