Amidon Choral Music

New arrangements – Gathering indoors

You are invited to join Mary Alice and me tomorrow (Sunday September 19), at 12:00 noon ET at the online Daily Antitode of Song. Mary Alice and I (and maybe our grandson Desmond) will be leading Scottish harper Wendy Stewart’s “Waltzing Through Time“.
Waltzing Through Time” is one of the new offerings on our online library/store of our choral arrangements.  I also recently put up my arrangement of the African American spiritual “Give Me Jesus“, and my arrangement of Peter Mayer’s “Blue Boat Home“.
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I am on the “Relaunch Committee” of the Guilford (VT) Community Church UCC, where we are figuring out a safe way to return to having indoor services in our church sanctuary.

We had (pre-recorded) online services throughout the first year of the pandemic, and we started having in-person outdoor Sunday morning services last summer.  We set up small tents, a sound system, and, usually, an electric piano for our outdoor services.  As far as we know, except for the children, all of our congregants are vaccinated.  The children play at our church playground during these services.  Everyone, including the choir, is masked, except that the pastor, and others who read scripture and prayers, remove their masks when talking to the congregation.  When it rains we have the service in the sanctuary with only the pastor, the organist, the readers, the videographer, and a reduced choir, again, with everyone masked except when preaching or reading. All services, inside and outside, are live streamed and then put up on Youtube.
We are planning our first indoor service for the congregation on October 17th. Because of our determination to keep the service safe for the most vulnerable, we have purchased four air purifiers for the sanctuary (“Air Doctors”) and we will open the windows during the services; if it is cold out we will at least crack the windows open a bit.  We are a few of the other actions we are discussing:
* Having a separate, earlier (short) service for families with unvaccinated children, from 9:00 – 9:30 am.
and for our usual 10:00 am service:
* Distancing the congregation by:
Using only every other pew.
Having folks sit together in their pods if they have one.
Having ushers seat folks as they come in with a mind to keep everyone safely distanced.
* As we do now, having everyone masked except when preaching or reading.
* Purchasing a large screen TV that will be downstairs for overflow when we have reached a maximum safe number of congregants in the sanctuary.  This downstairs TV will play the service in real time directly from our videographer’s camera in the sanctuary.
* Having soloists and instrumental music for anthems instead of a choir.
* Having a soloist sing and the congregation hum the hymns.
* Replacing the post-service downstairs coffee hour with post-service socializing outside the church building.
I know that many of you are struggling with these issues, whether it be church services, group singing, concerts, going to school, or any type of gathering.  If you let me know what some of your ideas are I can share some of them in a later posting.
Keep singing,
Stay safe,
Best,
Peter