If you can wear a tune and love Christmas and church hymns, the Notre-Dame Community Choir Maybe for you.
“The only requirement is to be able to match the ground. There are no auditions, ”said Patrick kronner, who directs the choir as choir director and organist of Campus Ministry.
True to its name, the community choir is made up of men and women from the greater South Bend area as well as faculty, staff and students from Notre Dame. The choir sings at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart during the summer months and on Christmas Eve.
This Christmas Eve, the ensemble will sing for lessons and carols at 10 p.m. and mass at 11 p.m. It’s an hour earlier than in previous years.
Kronner said there were 316 choir members on their roster, with around 100 active members. With Christmas Eve being a family celebration, many choir members may not be in town. Typically 30-40 members show up that night, leaving plenty of room in the choir gallery for more.
Some of the more recent talents in the community choir are people who joined last summer when the choir was able to reunite in person again after more than a year of the pandemic.
“My feeling is that after all this quarantine year people were thinking, ‘I’m not going to wait any longer. If I want to try something, I’ll do it! ‘”
When people were confined to their homes, the choir would come together on Zoom, giving people something fun to do with large numbers of people in safety.
“The virtual meetings provided great opportunities to immerse yourself a little more in music. For example, every summer we sing Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, a famous choral hymn. I made a PowerPoint and made music history or background. We don’t always make time for this stuff during in-person rehearsals, ”Kronner said.
The choir also rehearsed at the Zoom meetings.
“Everyone was at their place and I was standing there a little awkwardly, playing the piano and talking to them while I sang. They were off, but every once in a while I would invite someone to turn the sound back on if they wanted to protest. It was pretty cool to see some of them get brave enough to turn the sound back on.
Zoom’s capabilities made it easy for groups of singers to move into breakout rooms to rehearse their parts. “So I could be in a room with all the sopranos and violas and my colleague, Jonathan hehn, vsI’d be in another room with the tenors and the basses, ”Kronner said.
They also had fun.
“We did some experiments, like we tried to sing in canon where you echoed each other. We turned the sound back on and it was just chaos.
Of course, virtual choir videos were all the rage in 2020 and the community choir produced one as well. Each member recorded their part and Kronner edited it together. As the choir could not sing in the Basilica on Christmas Eve due to the pandemic, they recorded “Lo, how a rose E’er Blooming, ” a hymn they normally sang during lessons and chants, and posted it on YouTube.
If singing in a choir is on your post-quarantine bucket list, there’s no time like the present.
Those who wish to sing with the community choir on Christmas Eve can attend practices at the Coleman-Morse Center the next two Mondays – December 13 and 20 – from 7:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. For more information on registering for any moment, email Kronner to email@example.com or call 574-631-7779.