Singing online and singing in a carpark at socially distanced spaces is how members of the award-winning Circular Keys Chorus have kept in tune with each other during the pandemic.
Established in 1995, the Hills-based woman’s acapella ensemble has been delighting audiences throughout Australia and the world with its barbershop-style music. It is a thriving chapter of Sweet Adelines International, one of the largest singing organisations for women in the world.
CKC members Alison Anderson and Jane Masters said while the pandemic had a severe impact on the group’s ability to sing together at its rehearsal space at Baulkham Hills, Master Director Vicki Dwyer and Assistant Director Steph Wallbank were quick to re-imagine the rehearsal plan and Wednesday nights found the chorus tuned in for an invigorating rehearsal.
“Vicki’s fantastic knowledge and skill as an educator always exercise our minds as well as our voices. Our dedicated members have done everything they could to join in the rehearsals despite adverse conditions,” said Alison.
Candace Deller, one of CKC’s newest members and PR coordinator found time to learn songs while balancing work and many relaxation activities.
“A couple of years ago Mum put me up to CKC’s Learn To Sing a Cappella course,” she said. “Mum knew I loved singing but I didn’t think barbershop was really me.
I decided to give it a go and really loved it. I found something that expanded my knowledge in singing and taught me new skills. I also wanted to stay because I found all the ladies so welcoming, friendly and accepting, which was important to me. Age is certainly no barrier.”
Steph Wallbank from Glenorie says she joined CKC because she wanted to sing harmonies while learning a new craft. Twenty years later Steph says she is still learning!
“Where else would I have had the opportunity to sing all over Australia, attend International conventions, meet and sing with similarly obsessed barbershop singers from all over the world or be on such a stimulating learning curve?
Lockdowns didn’t dampen our drive to improve, to perform again and to nurture our inner divas, it just made us more determined to be patient and ready for real-time singing.”
Inese Kamenyitzky of Castle Hill, a member for 14 years, is the chorus’s appointed social and hospitality coordinator. She and her team were experts of fun and frivolity during some Zoom rehearsals including, a Christmas in July rehearsal, a pyjama night and recently a crazy hair night.
Jane Masters said the members can’t wait to sing together in person again. “Christmas time is very special for us as we expect we will be out and about raising our voices and bringing joy and fun to so many. “
The Circular Keys Chorus will be singing in the city at Martin Place by the Christmas Tree on December 5th and December 18th (6pm to 8pm) and on George St on Christmas Eve.
Enquiries from prospective new members are always welcome. Visit the website circularkeys.org