This September, VocalEssence Vintage Voices conductor Rob Graham has been visiting the homes of older adult singers from Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis. At a safe distance and accompanied by Sabathani Community Center Senior Program Director Georgia Marinkov-Omorean, Rob has been greeting them with a friendly visit as well as gifting them a care package.
These fall visits are the first time that Rob has seen the singers in person since March. They have been connecting over Zoom and by phone to check-in, but it is not same as in-person visits. “We’ve missed each other, and we miss singing together,” said Rob. “Choir rehearsal was a place for them to connect with each other and find joy. We hope to create the space again, but in a different way.”
This fall, Rob plans to start online rehearsals with the Sabathani Vintage Voices singers. There is a catch, however. A number of singers lack access to participate in online rehearsals. Because of this, VocalEssence is currently working with funders to purchase tablets and WIFI hotspots for the singers.