Chorus of the Genesee is driven to perform despite COVID

1 Dec

Nothing, not even a global pandemic, was going to stop Webster’s own Chorus of the Genesee from making beautiful music.

The Chorus, which normally rehearses every week at the Harmony House in the Village of Webster, has found a creative way to continue their rehearsals while maintaining safe social distancing.

Like many of the chapters in the district, the Chorus has been meeting regularly via Zoom. But since mid-October, the’ve also been gathering in a parking lot off of East Main Street for live, stay-in-your-car rehearsals.

Steve Caso, the 2021 Chorus of the Genesee’s incoming president, knows his way around IT, and set up a system of wireless mics that broadcast to a specific FM station on everyone’s car radio. (The frequency, 91.1, is a jazz station out of Toronto. Anyone in Webster who might have tried to tune them in on Tuesday nights might have heard the rehearsal.)

Ten Chorus members attended rehearsal last Tuesday night, their cars arranged in a semi-circle in the parking lot. They surrounded Music Director Steve Link, who wore small lights on his hands so they would show up in the dark. He’s the only unfortunate Chorus member who has to brave the cold, while everyone else stays in their warm cars.

The Chorus is preparing for a virtual holiday season contest on Dec. 17 called Holidays in Harmony. It will feature choruses, quartets, special guests and celebrity judges, all presented via Zoom. Stay tuned for more information about that.

Be prepared for a surprise or two with this event, too. Chorus President Dave Bay wrote,

Like all barbershoppers, our visual impact is as important in the delivery of a song as the singing, which is clearly a challenge when each of us is in a vehicle in the evening.

We’ll be unveiling our solution to this dilemma, inspired by the challenges posted by COVID: car-eography (as delivered by the Car-us of the Genesee).

The Chorus of the Genesee is a non-profit, educational organization devoted to preserving the original American art form of Barbershop Harmony. The Chorus rehearses in Webster, New York, but performs all over the greater Rochester area. A portion of their proceeds support both local and national service projects.

For more information about the Chorus, check their website.

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