The following is a dynamic document for the Middlebury College Choir, intended to share a fundamental approach to singing during a pandemic as pertains specifically to the Middlebury College campus.

Basic Health and Safety Protocol for Rehearsal
  • Be a little early (5 minutes maximum) and go right to your spot

    • If you are late, you lose precious singing time

  • Enter Mead distanced appropriately, masked​

  • Hand sanitizer and wipes are available in Mead

  • BRING YOUR OWN folder - an extra may be available but not guaranteed

  • ​Masks will be worn when singing; have an extra somewhere, they get warm

Basics of singing during a pandemic

UPDATED FOR FALL 2021:

  • Choir is all together!

  • Masks on, 6 feet apart, in specific standing order

  • 120-minute rehearsals, Monday and Wednesday afternoons, 20-minute break in the middle

  • Prep outside of rehearsal with online part learning tools

Health and Safety Outside of Rehearsal
  • Your behavior outside of rehearsal affects the life of College Choir, and this is never more true than at the present time. When you join the College Choir community, you must recognize your responsibility to the membership of the ensemble, in terms of health and safety as well as music. This means:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should follow campus guidelines.

  • PLEASE AVOID any situation in which people around you are not following campus protocol for COVID-19, or behaving in a way inconsistent with campus health and safety protocol. DO NOT join activities or social situations in which rules for health and safety are compromised. This puts all of us in the College Choir at risk.

Context

Our plan for singing within COVID-19 protocol is specific to Middlebury, and will differ from other institutions. I have developed this by consulting international studies recent and recent-past regarding aerosol and droplet dispersion and specifically aerosols in musical performance, including different styles of singing and different types of instruments. My approach is to be extra careful, and go beyond the basic guidance towards a plan with which I feel reasonably safe, in which you are as safe as possible assuming everyone in the ensemble follows distancing and hygiene guidance. As singers, trusting each other to meet in this special way regularly, I feel we need to do more than most to not be a part of situations that compromise health standards in any way. All of that understood, I hope that we can sing together happily. At least, somewhat “together,” but also hopefully very “happy”.

Rehearsal

Beginning fall 2021, we will rehearse in-person in Mead Chapel with the full choir, masked, and distanced 6 feet apart in a specific standing order until further notice. We will take an extended break in the middle of our two-hour rehearsal to provide two 50-minute (or less) halves. During the break, you may leave the chapel, and in colder months we will repair to the balcony for some time in fresher air space.

Performance

Performance protocol will adjust with current conditions on and around campus.

Community

Community is the basis for our existence, in many ways, along with a desire for the source of that community to be music that we sing together. I hope to explore this more, to have College Choir be a group of individuals whose individual identity is supplemented and supported by the collective one of College Choir. We don’t need to surrender our individuality in such a group; we can give to the group in the way the group needs most, and we can claim the beauty and musical accomplishment of the group to be our own beauty and musical accomplishment.