For many of us, this has been a strange Holy Week, with none of the services, music or community that surrounds the liturgical build-up towards Easter Day. For all of us, the Easter break is an opportunity to see family and enjoy the first signs of the summer weather ahead. But we have all had to continue to adapt, be it understanding new electronic ways of communication, or embracing the isolation. For the choir, we missed our Holy Week services in the Minster, starting with two days of Compline, Wednesday's performance of Stainer, and Thursday's Tenebrae. At our Zoom rehearsal on Thursdsay, we sang Victoria's O vos omnes at about the same time we would have been singing it in the Minster, which was quite moving (it helped that the performance was much more successful that last week's attempt!). We've added a new page to the choir website -www.eborsingers.org/holyweek - with archive recordings that may support worship or reflection at this time. For once, I've enjoyed listening to Stainer's The Crucifxion rather than conducting it! My favorite choir disc at this time of year is Victoria's Lamentations, framed by motets for Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday
We're excited that we are sharing our first Virtual performance, of God so loved the world. This is an incredibly labour-intensive process! The singers are provided with a backing track to listen to while recording their track. Having spent so much time working as an ensemble, breathing and watching each other, to sing precisely in time is a real challenge not to be underestimated. The video files are then sent to Paul, who first edits each singer's audio to provide a choir mix; then he works on the videos, aligning with each other and arranging on screen. Many lessons were learnt during the process, which should make our next videos quicker to produce!