Before you read Syd’s excellent letter, you may want to know that the link for the February 27 virtual concert that the letter announces is here. We hope you will join us for the premiere at 2 pm on the last Saturday in February 2021. And we thank our concert sponsor the TD Bank Group.
We did not know it, but a year ago the “age of innocence” was drawing to a close. The focus of the Peterborough Singers in mid-February 2020 was our fast approaching Canadian Legends concert, and no one would have guessed how significant that event would prove to be. It left us with vivid memories of singing shoulder to shoulder with all our choir buddies, singing our hearts out to a packed and appreciative house, the music joyously ringing in our heads for days afterwards. Thirteen days to be precise, until March 13 when, along with everything else, massed choirs were shut down until the end of April. No, ’til the summer. No, ’til the fall. No, ’til…..um, we don’t know.
Then the realization sank in that the pandemic and big choirs could not share the same stage. World wars, revolutions, natural disasters, in fact nothing that I can think of has ever shut down singing before. Only when it was taken away did we truly understand the loss. Some choir members found that Zoom singing was a possible way to surmount it, but for other choristers the exercise of singing alone to a computer brought only tears and frustration.
My wife and I had five years of idyllic summer visits to a wonderful cottage on the ocean in PEI. We always knew the long drive was almost over when we hit the Confederation Bridge, definitely the longest bridge I have ever crossed. And the idea of crossing a bridge well describes the choir’s COVID journey. Early in the pandemic, we made a virtual recording of Bridge Over Trouble Water, capturing some of our sentiments at that time, as well as acknowledging the cancelled Simon & Garfunkel concert scheduled for February 2021. As it became all too clear that a traditional season was not going to happen for 2020-21, we looked at producing free online concerts. Yuletide Cheer and Messiah went well, so we’ve raided the archives once again, looking for uplifting music from our recent February pop concerts while we cross the bridge.
And so I invite you to join us for our free “We’re Crossing The Bridge” concert on Saturday, February 27 at 2 p.m., or any time afterwards on the Peterborough Singers YouTube channel. From Broadway to Beatles, from Simon & Garfunkel to East Coast shanties, we’ve put together a delightful selection of songs to drive away the winter blues and help us move through the latter stages of the pandemic.
We’ve been mindful of the hardships facing many musicians who have not been able to ply their trade of late. Thanks to the generous donations of many, we were able to engage four local musicians to each record a song just for the Peterborough Singers, so you will be hearing from Kate Suhr, Beau Dixon, Steve McCracken and Jonathan Liebich. As a tribute to our Simon & Garfunkel aspirations, Kate and Beau chose to sing songs from the Simon & Garfunkel songbook.
Please join us! And, if you are able to watch during the premiere (Feb. 27 at 2 p.m.), we welcome your comments in the live chat.
Our thanks go to season sponsors Fran Allen and David Tomlinson of Royal LePage for their unwavering support.
Artistic Director, Peterborough Singers