Even as businesses and public areas begin to re-open, the threat of a serious outbreak in Wyoming remains. In response, a choral festival out of Jackson is taking its event online, keeping attendees - and singers - safe.
Every other year, the Cathedral Voices Chamber Choir hosts a spring festival. Choirs from around the region spend the three-day event practicing for a large gala concert that often includes a special guest artist.
But bringing together dozens of singers, and more people to watch, was impossible this year. Laura Huckin is the choir's artistic director. She says the festival will be streamed online rather than canceled.
"I think I was just a little stubborn," Huckin said. "I refused to let the pandemic just completely stall the arts."
The festival features panel discussions with musical experts, as well as two virtual choir pieces: The Music of Living, and Flight Song.
About 70 singers will record their own voices, from the safety of their homes. And those recordings will be matched up to produce a virtual choir performance, set to stream this weekend.
The festival's two days of streaming will also include panel discussions about creating music and group singing.
"I think the biggest disappointment really is the experience of the live performance, not just for audiences but especially for the singers," Huckin said. "Because group singing - it's a social activity. It's an opportunity to connect."
But the online format does come with benefits.
"You know, you don't have to be in Jackson to see this and experience it," Huckin said. "People can do that from wherever they might be and they don't even need to be in Wyoming."
The festival will see the premiere of two choir pieces, one each on Saturday and Sunday. The stream is free to access and can be found on the Cathedral Voices Chamber Choir's website.
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