A Combined Choir Concert was held this Saturday on October 17 at Fuller Park. The Keene State Music Department presented a live chorus concert in an effort to bring the college and the community together. The event was very successful and over one hundred community members attended. Many of the crowd members brought their own lawn chairs and socially distanced around the park grounds. The singers were spaced around the Recreation Center Pavilion where their voices carried through microphones set up where they were standing. Audience members applauded after every song showing their support to the singers.
The concert was a success but the production process presented many challenges. The venue site had to be changed multiple times due to safety precautions and background noise making it hard to hear, said the directors. Organizers worked closely with the city of Keene to find the ideal spot to host the concert during the pandemic. Directors Dr. Matthew Leese and Dr. Sandra Howard originally wanted to host the concert in the center of Keene at the gazebo but it created difficulties.
“At first we were going to present it at the gazebo in Keene but when we went to rehearse there it was so loud with all the traffic,” said Dr. Howard. “The town has allowed us to move it to the parks and recreation area which creates plenty of space for the singers, we’ll be able to amplify, and people will be able to kick back and enjoy.”
The reason for hosting the Choir Concert off campus was to bring the music to the community. Keene State College campus is not allowed to have community members attend events due to keeping a safe environment for students. Allowing the concert to be held at the Recreation Center Pavilion allowed many of the community members to still enjoy the college arts and see the choir perform, said Dr. Leese.
Dr. Matthew Leese, a director of the choir said, “With choir singing being one of the most popular hobbies in the Monadnock region, people have expressed to me how thankful they are that we are going through these efforts to bring it to them.” Bella Pitta, a student who attended the concert said, “The event incorporated multiple choir groups including some instruments such as piano and guitar. Groups of singers socially distanced throughout the pavilion and moved into the crowd after their performance to sit with their family or friends as the next group of singers gathered on the pavilion green to use their voice. This allowed all the members of the event to be safe because everyone followed the correct precautions. “I think it was a perfect location,” She further said. “There is a lot of space here so it was good to keep social distance.”
Keene has always strived to be an integral part of the community. This relationship is important to their identity as a college. Activities and events such as the concert help strengthen these bonds. “I definitely saw a lot of people here that didn’t look to be students so it’s good to see people coming out to support the college”, said Pitta. The music department worked hard to make this event inclusive and safe for everyone and they look forward to hosting more says Dr. Howard.
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