Members of the Association of Choral Directors have been actively supporting each other during lockdown via the NZCF Association of Choral Directors (ACD) Facebook group page. On Wednesday nights at 7.30 there is a weekly Zoom chat to share resources and tips, and over the course of the past four weeks we’ve hosted two live Q&A sessions – the first of those on 1 April with the conductor of the Youth Choir of Great Britain, Ben Parry, and the second on 29 April with conductor, teacher and music tech guru Brent Stewart.
Brent is the Music Director of Orpheus Choir Wellington, Principal Percussionist of Orchestra Wellington, and Assistant Director of the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir and is currently on a one-year sabbatical from his position as HOD Music at Wellington East Girls College.
Brent began his session by explaining how he has structured his online rehearsals for the Orpheus Choir and how he manages the tech in the background. A glitch on the Facebook channel saw Brent quickly switch the session to YouTube – a lesson in flexibility and tech capability in itself! Brent offered useful tips on a range of topics including audio-recording equipment, sound-editing software, screencasting, and managing breakout groups in Zoom. He quickly dispelled the myth that creating a virtual choir video is an option for everyone!
NZCF’s thanks go to Jayne Tankersley and David Squire for managing the live Q&A sessions in the ACD Facebook group, and to Sue Densem, Helen Charlton and Jayne Tankersley for coordinating the weekly Zoom sessions for ACD members. You can find details of all of these on the NZCF Association of Choral Directors (ACD) Facebook group page.
Don’t forget that your ACD membership also allows you complimentary access to Musica International’s virtual library, complimentary one-year membership of the American Choral Directors Association and access to ACD’s video channel.