Pepper Choplin: We are not alone

I have the privilege of working with The SymphoNYChorus of New York, New York, and The New West Symphony & Chorus of Calgary, Alberta. My good friend Henric Ideström conducts them both, and I have recorded albums for both groups. In this time of self isolation, we brought together 70 singers from both groups

Some think we will go back to what we used to do: full stages, full concert halls. Some don’t. I honestly don’t know what to think. I believe only time will tell.

Here is an article about Chicago Symphony Orchestra that ponders this as well.

I could relate to this, although of course I’m nowhere near the level of those players!

Ultimately, though, “It’s like riding a bicycle,” adds Hoskuldsson. “We kind of get back into it.”

Even so, there’s no denying the pressure-cooker we’ve all been in for the past couple of months – and will be for months to come.

“People are so isolated and lonely and tense,” says cellist Sharp. “It’s a strange time. You think you have nothing to do, in a way. But you don’t really relax. I think other people feel that, too. You go through the day, and you’re sort of looking for things to do, but you’re quite tense about everything.

“And by the end of the day you feel a certain exhaustion by running about doing these things, maybe not very profound things in your day. It’s hard to feel free: I’m going to study a new language, do something you’d do if you had free time. Now there’s this concern, the worry of what’s going on. And I think that’s psychically very exhausting to people.”

Meanwhile … here is a little something I wrote just now (I’m not a poet, but that doesn’t mean I don’t dabble!):

Questions?

There are so many of them,
with more added daily
but so few answers.

They flit around, hovering
over heads, hiding in corners,
pasted on foreheads.

We hear them from others,
we feel them stitched
in the fabric of our clothing.

But the largest one,
the one that never leaves,
constantly unanswered?

Sure, we hear “for the long haul,”
and “weeks, months,
possibly years.”

But those answers arrive
with a large question mark.
None with a date.

There is no calendar.
There are no absolutes
when it comes to time.

I have been enveloped
in question after question,
but it all comes down to “How Long?”

Wilberg: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
Mississippi College Singers COVID-19 Virtual Choir; Mark Nabholz, conductor; Tyler Kemp, pianist