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CHOIRS ARE RETURNING TO LIVE REHEARSAL AND WORSHIP

Celebration and Chorale will begin rehearsing on Wednesday, September 1. Both choirs will rehearse together from 7:00–8:00pm on September 1 and 8 in anticipation of singing at our first live services on September 12. We expect two services on that date, and the combined choir will sing at both with brass. We’re going to make it a blowout! On September 15, we will resume the normal schedule: Celebration will rehearse at 6:30 p.m. and Chorale will rehearse at 7:30pm. Starting September 19, Celebration will sing at the first service, and Chorale will sing at the second. Contact David Schildkret for more information about Celebration and Chorale.

IF YOU HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT JOINING A DAYSPRING CHOIR, NOW IS THE TIME! We need you! We are justly proud of the fine music at Dayspring. And because it’s good, sometimes people think you need all kinds of special training and skills to participate—but that isn’t so! We welcome everyone who is dedicated and willing to grow.

COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS

Right from the beginning of the pandemic, singing was recognized as an especially powerful way to spread the Coronavirus. As the pandemic progressed and we learned more, we realized that singing is more dangerous than other activities because COVID-19 is primarily spread through the air: an infected person (who may not even show symptoms) exhales virus in tiny moisture droplets; if you inhale these infected droplets, you risk contracting and spreading the disease. Singing (and loud speaking) propels droplets into the air powerfully and at a high rate. Smaller droplets called aerosols are so light that they are barely affected by gravity. They can remain in the air for hours with the potential to spread disease long after the infected person has left the area.

Because singing is a particularly potent way to spread respiratory disease, we need to be extra cautious. We will expect all members of choirs over the age of 12 to be fully vaccinated in order to participate. We will make an exception if you have documentation from a licensed physician saying that you have a medical condition that would make getting a COVID-19 vaccination dangerous for you (this is extremely rare). If you cannot be vaccinated, we will ask you to wear a mask and to remain 10 feet away from others. We will not be asking you to show proof of vaccination—we trust you. If you say you are vaccinated, we believe you (we figure you’ve read Exodus 20:16 and won’t bear false witness).

Celebration and Chorale. We expect all members to be vaccinated, unless you have a medical condition as described above. You have the option of wearing a mask during rehearsal, but we will not require it. We will wear masks during services, except when we are singing. We will endeavor to maintain as much distance as possible.

This is a safety issue. Some people have tried to characterize getting a vaccine or not as a matter of personal freedom and choice. But in the case of people who wish to sing together, it is much more a matter of safety. If you want to participate in a choir and you are eligible for a vaccine, you will need to be vaccinated in order to protect everyone’s health and well-being.

Vaccines are widely available for everyone 12 and older, and they are free. If you haven’t been vaccinated already, do it now!

SUMMER 2023 RESIDENCY

The Dayspring Choir will be in residence at Portsmouth Cathedral in England in late May/early June 2023. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is open to all, whether or not you sing! We will depart on May 24, 2023. We’ll spend a couple of days sightseeing in England (including London, Windsor, Oxford, Stonehenge, Salisbury, and Winchester) before settling into Portsmouth on May 27. Beginning Monday, May 29, and continuing through Saturday, June 3, the Dayspring Choir will be the choir for the daily Evensong service at Portsmouth Cathedral (above), singing an anthem, a setting of the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, and psalms and responses appropriate to the day. During the day, we will have opportunities to explore the area, including visits to London, Oxford, Isle of Wight, and Chichester. We hope to sing a final Evensong in London on June 4 before returning to the US on June 5. Cost is partly dependent on the total number of people participating and ranges from $4,277 to $4,810 (we hope to have enough to get the lowest cost!). There are separate rates if you wish to arrange your own air travel (if you want to arrive in England earlier or stay longer, for example), and there is a surcharge if you would like a single room.

All of this is laid out in detail in a handsome brochure prepared by our tour managers, Music Celebrations International, a Tempe-based company that has arranged travel for Dayspring choirs before. If you would like to look over the brochure, please email David Schildkret. YOU CAN MAKE A DEPOSIT OF $200 NOW TO SECURE YOUR PLACE ON THIS TRIP! Deposits are due by November 15, 2021.

A WORD OF INSPIRATION

It is so wonderful to be planning a return to live singing in worship, travel, and all the things we have come to recognize mean so much to us. As I anticipated bringing the choirs back together, I was reminded of Psalm 30, which is variously described as “Thanksgiving for recovery from a grave illness” and “A song at the dedication of the temple.” Both descriptions are certainly fitting for the return of the choirs! The last two verses are especially apt:

You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
(Psalm 30:11-12, NRSV)

I adapted this text and composed an anthem for choir, brass, and organ that we will rehearse on September 1 and 8 and sing in the worship services on September 12 (along with Parry’s splendid setting of Psalm 122: I was glad when they said unto me, we will go into the house of the Lord!).

Here is the adapted text of Psalm 30:11-12 that we will sing on September 12:

Give thanks to God, give thanks to God forever!

For God has turned lamenting into dancing! O God, you have cast off our mourning and clothed us in gladness that we may sing your praise and not be silent!

Give thanks to God forever! Hallelujah!

~David Schildkret