Columbia Choirs Goes Online – COVID-19 Response

Lars Myren, President of the Board of Trustees of Columbia Choirs, explains our organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we may not be able to sing together in person, we feel that we need to continue to provide a place for singers of all ages to do what they love!

Video Transcript

Hello Columbia Choirs Community!

These past two weeks, our organization has had to grapple with a new set of challenges surrounding our community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  I personally want to thank our conductors, administrators and the Board of Trustees who these past few weeks have poured their hearts and minds into creative solutions to our current challenges.

I am pleased to announce that after much consideration, and close consultation with our artistic staff, the Board of Trustees fully supports the idea that Columbia Choirs must continue making music, as it has for the past 35 years.  In order to adapt to our current limitations, we will be taking Columbia Choirs online, providing weekly activities, check-ins, rehearsals, and more for singers in all of our choirs.

What choir looks like in this online world will differ depending on each choir level.  But you can expect a variety of different tools and activities all aimed at keeping all of our singers – and their families – singing and making music together.  With so much of our day-to-day lives altered, we hope to bring you a moment or two in your week to pause, make music, and smile.   You will be receiving more information from your conductor over the next several weeks with specific links and activities to complete.

In these uncertain times, many arts organizations in our region are making the tough decision to suspend the remainder of their seasons.  Our hearts go out to those organizations, as we have had to consider such a reality for ourselves.  Ultimately, we decided that now was the time to dig deep to keep our community together, to keep our invaluable staff employed, and to keep making music. 

Now these decisions do not come without consequences.  We are currently projecting a budget deficit as we move to continue to provide musical instruction through the remainder of the season, while adapting to our current restrictions.  Over the next six weeks, leading up to May 6th– the culmination of GiveBig Washington – we will be reaching out in many ways asking for donations and support to help secure our organization’s future.  We know that times are tough for so many in our community, so we treasure your support that much more.  We will make it through this time of uncertainty, but we will need help from every corner of our community to continue to provide the highest quality musical experiences for singers of all ages.

From the moment I joined Columbia Choirs in the year 2000, as a young singer, I have been given so many musical opportunities that have truly changed my life.  Now in my current role, it is truly so fulfilling to see all of the singers that are benefiting from the wonderful foundation laid by our Artistic Director, Steve Stevens, and all of the wonderful musicians and volunteers who pour their hearts into this organization.  For all of the great moments of the past, I know we have so much more to give to singers and our community in the future.  While we have yet to see what the true ramifications of our current challenges will be, I know that we will continue to create amazing music together and that our choirs will continue to serve as a special place in our community.