It could have been a year without singing.
When COVID-19 shut down our world last March, there was no end in sight. The things we had been looking forward to the most, things like the Senior Song, spring concert, and summer tours, were sudddenly impossible. And Molly Lindberg, our founder and Artistic Director of 12 seasons, whose visionary leadership shaped Spirito into the thriving choral organization it is today, retired without the opportunity to conduct her final concert or take her final bow.
It could easily have been a year without singing.
But that is not who Spirito Singers are.
When Molly founded Spirito, she created a space where singers are taught not only to develop their artistry and musicianship, but also to ask, "How can I use these gifts to serve others?" Community service is built into everything we do at Spirito, whether we're leading congregational music, serenading seniors at assisted living centers, or any of the countless non-musical projects we do at our annual lock-ins and retreats. This year, when we asked, "What does the world need from us?" the answer was clearer than ever.
The world needs music.
And so we adjusted, scrapping our plans for a normal choral year and creating a dozen new virtual classes that would allow us to continue to make music collaboratively while staying safe in our homes. Our singers honed new skills like composition, songwriting, conducting, and vocal technique, while continuing to develop their music theory knowledge and enjoy learning and creating together. We found a way to make our voices heard as a community, even when our community was far apart.
This February, we began rehearsing in person again, and the joy of singing together cannot be described. But it has also been truly inspiring to see the ways in which our singers are building on the skills and friendships they developed in their classes this fall. Composers are acting as theory tutors, helping their peers master advanced concepts. Songwriters are coming up with repertoire ideas for future seasons. And the Bravura conductors are getting ready to take the podium for the first time and lead Ragazze in our spring concert on June 6.
This season's theme is Make Them Hear You, and we have a lot to say. Our songs speak of courage, friendship, and support. They address environmental issues, sexism, and bullying. They carry messages of hope, perseverance, and love to all who hear us. And, most importantly, they are songs that sound like us - brave and kind and determined to succeed, no matter what obstacles might stand in our way. As our title song says, "Go out and tell our story. Let it echo far and wide. Make them hear you." And we are doing just that.
It might have been a year without singing. But we would never have let that happen.