Up & Coming Weekly

December 01, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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12 UCW DECEMBER 2-8, 2020 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM EVENT Cumberland Choral Arts transitions to virtual performance and collaboration by KEYURI PARAB Cumberland Choral Arts is continuing its efforts of making music by adapting to a virtual format during the pandemic. Instead of performing for live audiences this year as they have since 1991, they are using YouTube and Facebook to reach people and present their music. "In order to operate in the times of COVID, you kind of have to throw dynamite under- neath the concept of what a performance organization is and just reconstruct how you see things," Dr. Michael Martin, artistic director for Cumberland Choral Arts, said. "We moved away from the standard concert method, and we're going to do these concerts virtually, it's not an easy format to adapt to." ey are in the process of recording dif- ferent choral pieces and are enlisting com- munity members to join them for a virtual presentation of the "Hallelujah Chorus" from "Messiah." e English-language oratorio was written in 1741 by German-born composer George Frideric Handel. Originally written for Easter, "Messiah" has become a Christ- mas holiday favorite. e CCA performance of the piece is usually delivered to full audi- ences, many joining in for the "Hallelujah Chorus" — the most widely known section of the composition. Martin said Cumberland Choral Arts is inviting community members who know the music to submit a video. ere is online learning material available to use as a guide, as voices will be synchronized better later. e Campbellton Youth Chorus will be participating in the "Hallelujah Chorus" as well, said Donna Jo Mangus, artistic director of the Campbellton Youth Chorus, affiliate of the Cumberland Choral Arts. All the videos will be compiled by the direc- tor and assistant director, mixing video and audio and synchronizing all the pieces to make the finished product, Mangus said. Martin said he had been working on new technology since last year that allowed them to do a series of projects virtually. Some of the challenges with going virtual have been getting the synchronization right and get- ting the rights to upload those things on the internet, he said. "at's kind of what we've been doing, try- ing to navigate technology and stay relevant in the eyes of people who would want to come and watch us sing," Martin said. e organization has two concerts planned for the next year, a women composer con- cert in March celebrating Women's History Month and suffrage, as well as a "Tour of the World" themed concert in May displaying music from different cultures. Martin said he might blend the two but teaching them in a virtual format will be a challenge and may affect how the timeline will work out. "We are going to have a series of things uploaded to our social media that people can watch on their time," he said. Martin plans to have next year's scheduled finalized over the holiday season. e Campbellton Youth Choir hosts four concerts a year with children aged 9-14. It is open to all, regardless of their schooling situ- ation. Mangus said they will be posting their songs virtually to the Cumberland Choral Arts handle at www.youtube.com/channel/ UCcxVHG97aIEIGP_645K11DQ Going virtual has given young singers a chance to learn how to collaborate with other interested singers in the area, she said. e youth choir is an opportunity for young singers to perform in a group and make music together for the shared experience, to have appreciation for the song and lyrics, and the beautiful melodies, wider range of dy- namics, there's nothing like it when you're a singer, Mangus said. "I think the artistic community sees rel- evance for any kind of ensemble that's part of our community especially now that COVID has hit, it brings us together and it's so im- portant and music just answers that equa- tion," Martin said. Mangus and Martin both encourage any- one with a singing talent to participate virtu- ally, to strengthen the community of singers. "As we become technologically advanced and have every reason in the world to stay away from one another but that's not the hu- man condition and I feel so strongly about this," Martin said. "Even before COVID, we could find so many things that were just disposable means of entertainment that you could just come do and leave, but there's nothing of longevity, but here we are and all those means of entertainment are closed down or regulated but here we are, still sing- ing and making music together." For more information on submitting a video for the "Hallalujah Chorus," the Cumberland Choral Arts and Campbellton Youth Choir, visit https://cumberlandcho- ralarts.org. KEYURI PARAB, Editorial Assistant COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com 910-484-6200. Cumberland Choral Arts is encouraging members of the com- munty to submit videos of themselves singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's "Messiah," to be inlcuded in the virtual performance. (Photo courtesy Cumberland Choral Arts) Dr. Michael Martin (left ) is the Artistic Director for Cumberland Choral Arts. Martin and the CCA are working to offer virtual performances that audiences can view online. (Photo courtesy Cumberland Choral Arts)

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