After more than two years of living in a global pandemic, it was clear to Sing St. John’s Executive Director, Kristen Carmichael-Bowers, as she planned the next performance of the St. John Recovery Choir, that the excitement and nostalgia were what the world needed.
“This pandemic is exhausting a lot of us,” Carmichael-Bowers said. “At the end of last summer, it became clear that this year was going to be another virtual year, and it was clear that we had to choose music that was really exciting and nostalgic for the singers and the audience, that we grew up in St John or the continental US, classic 60s and 70s soul tunes seemed to have universal appeal for our singers and community members, and they were great fun to learn together.
The Sing St. John founder said she hopes by Christmas the organization’s choirs will be able to perform in person, but for now, the St. John Recovery Choir will present the Love City Soul Concert via Zoom this Saturday at 7 p.m.
Although the upcoming concert will be virtual, the choir began meeting for in-person practices last month at an outdoor venue, the patio of Gifft Hill School’s upper campus, while wearing special masks for singers, which vent downwards and help slow the spread of aerosols. that occur when a singer projects his voice.
Even as she looks forward to the resumption of in-person practices and performances, Carmichael-Bowers laments the loss of some of the silver linings made possible by the virtual format.
“The only thing I will miss in this set of circumstances is the fact that we are coming out with these great recordings,” she said. “They sound really good, and everyone has become more aware of themselves as a singer. We have expanded our singing community to include people in the US and even someone from the UK who has joined our on-sight singing lessons.Another silver lining – we have to wear jammies.
Audiences will recognize most of the songs, made famous by artists like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gay, performed at Saturday’s concert. Sing St. John concerts often promote the concepts of hope, love and unity, and this one is no exception.
The one song people might not recognize, “One Drop of Love” by Ray Charles, states “A drop of love can make the world good; a drop of love can unite black and white.
Abigail Hendricks is the soloist for this song, along with Amy Roberts and Melody Smith.
A music video by the St. John Recovery Choir for One Drop of Love will be part of Saturday’s virtual concert.
“Audiences will be able to see us all interacting together, which is so wonderful,” Carmichael-Bowers said. “Audience members will be muted so they can dance and sing as loud as they want. What they will hear are recordings that we have made in advance.
As the Recovery Choir prepares for Saturday night’s performance, Sing St. John’s Ocama! A selected children’s choir is working on a music video for their rendition of “Love is My Religion” by Ziggy Marley.
The children’s choir will lead a song at the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park Earth Day Fair on Friday, and footage of the song will be incorporated into the music video.
Sing St. John’s other recent project is Senior Singalong, a 12-episode show airing twice a week on WTJX with the aim of giving seniors the opportunity to participate in an activity by singing along with the instructional videos produced by Sing. St. John choir members.
Although singing has been a particularly difficult activity to do safely during the pandemic, Carmichael-Bowers is clear about her motivation to keep going despite the odds.
“In such a small and diverse community, with different pockets within the community that are disparate, it’s really important to have something that brings us together and that transcends our political ideologies, our cultural differences, our religion, our everything. “, she said. mentioned. “When we sing together as a community, we come together on a level that is below all the divisions that exist. We remember that we are truly one body as human beings.
Online events are free, but donations of $10-$15 are welcome to help with technology costs.