Berkshire Children’s Chorus is Adapting to new Challenges of the Pandemic
As a small non-profit headquartered in Sheffield, Berkshire Children’s Chorus has been a prominent member of the community for almost 30 years. In fact, this season would have been the Chorus’ 30th Anniversary. However, everything changed when the pandemic began in March. The Chorus was forced to meet online, and the normal fundraising and performing calendar—which has always had a rhythm to it that allows the Chorus to cover costs as they arise—was wiped out. The most devastating part is that due to high transmission of droplets by people singing together, the choral singing is still disallowed and will continue to be disallowed for at least another six months. So, the 2020-2021 singing season was cancelled.
However, in order to stay afloat and to stay relevant to the choristers, the Board of Trustees has decided to use this time to build their organizational capacity, to learn and reflect, and to strategize for the future. Basically, they needed to pivot.
One “outside of the box” idea is a series of events that constitute the Take the Lead!Program. This program is designed to align with Berkshire Children’s Chorus’ mission of supporting the growth of positive values and enriching the community.
The program was started in the Spring 2020. There were three speakers who shared their career wisdom with the students inspiring them to become confident, inquisitive persons pursuing their passions.
Now, the Chorus aspires to achieve a closer synergy between their usual choral music curriculum and theTake the Lead!program. The goal for the program going forward is to showcase the alumni of the chorus who are able to share how their choral experiences helped them achieve professional and personal goals in life. The Board is confident that these stories will inspire students to use the skills they have learned in the Chorus in their future studies and careers.
The first guest will be Dani Dillon, who sang with Berkshire Children’s Chorus between 2001 and 2008. She has built an impressive career in the NYC food world, leading the development of food and beverage programs for Irving Farm, the international women’s club The Wing, and others. She will be sharing what she has learned about leadership, and how her experience in the Chorus serves as a reference point for how a healthy and strong team functions. Her virtual presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, September 23 at 5:30 p.m.
As artistic organizations are adapting to the challenging times of the pandemic, the Board of Trustees of the Berkshire Children’s Chorus is looking ahead with optimism. We are welcoming the opportunity to explore new ways to fulfill our mission, while at the same time looking forward with so much anticipation to the time when singing together will again be possible.
Please consider donating to the organization: https://berkshirechildrenschorus.org/donate/