A virtual choir project to help singers come together and contribute to a message of hope 

CONCORA | ct choral artists        Chris Shepard, director

Early in the quarantine period, a good friend of mine sent me Lynn Ungar's deeply moving Pandemic, a poem that she wrote in response to the COVID-19 crisis.  I was so touched by her poem that I asked Marty Sedek, a wonderful young composer, if he would be willing to set the words to music.  Here is the result of that fruitful collaboration, with CONCORA (CT Choral Artists) singing Lynn's words and Marty's music from the safety of their homes.  I hope that it brings you a measure of peace-- but I also hope that choral singers out there might enjoy singing along!  To that end, I asked Marty to write in a style that would be accessible to singers of all ages, particularly with my high school teacher colleagues looking for activities for their students during this surreal time.  You'll find learning tracks and a click track if you would like to make your own recording.  We all-- Lynn, Marty, and the CONCORA singers-- hope that this new work will bring a sense of togetherness in the challenging days to come.   

— Chris Shepard

conductor Chris Shepard

composer Martin Sedek

a message from conductor Chris Shepard

hear the text as read by author Lynn Ungar

"Pandemic"Lynn Ungar
00:00 / 01:18

What if you thought of it

as the Jews consider the Sabbath—

the most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now, 

on trying to make the world

different than it is. 

Sing. Pray. Touch only those

to whom you commit your life.

Center down.

 

And when your body has become still,

reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected

in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

(You could hardly deny it now.)

Know that our lives

are in one another’s hands.

(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

Reach out all the tendrils

of compassion that move, invisibly,

where we cannot touch.

 

Promise this world your love--

for better or for worse,

in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.

 

--Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

 

lynnungar.com

How many choirs can we reach?

If your group would like to make its own virtual performance,

you'll find all of the materials you'll need to participate below. 

Everything is free and open for public use! 

recording

learning

Reach_all parts
reach_soprano part
reach_alto part
reach_tenor part
reach_bass part