• Race to a Cure Authors

Staying connected is important during this pandemic - Here's how this music group is doing it

As social distancing continues across the world, people have had to come up with new and inventive solutions to work together. For Camden Voices, this came in the form of virtual performances.

Camden Voices is a group of 30 talented musicians (singers, instrumentalists, and educators) from London at the leading-edge of contemporary ensemble singing. They showcase arrangements from the worlds of acapella, jazz and pop written with the diverse and unique qualities of the group’s voices in mind.

So far, their social distancing performances of True Colors and Here Comes The Sun have amassed just about 2 million views on YouTube alone.

We hope that our videos have shown that in a time of physical isolation, it’s really important to find ways to keep doing the things we love. Although virtual choirs can never replace the experience of singing together ‘in the room’, for now it has helped us keep musical connection alive in these difficult times

explains Ed Blunt, the founder and musical director of the group.

The response, he says, has been “humbling,” as the videos have reached international screens - giving hope to many essential workers and citizens during this difficult time. Even Cyndi Lauper, American singer of Girls Just Want To Have Fun, has praised the group on their work with the piece True Colours. Here's a small snippet of their performance of True Colors.

For other musicians out there, Blunt suggests getting together online - whether that means by making a virtual performance or simply calling each other. Virtual choirs can be complicated to make and may require some experience with video and audio editing. He shared the following document that explains the process in depth.

Otherwise, he suggests simply calling over Zoom and doing things together: ear training, listening to previous performances and for them as a group, “Desert Island Discs sessions” - which is a BBC programme.

It is important to continue pursuing our passions, even when we cannot pursue them together. Ed Blunt says,

These times of isolation will certainly make us all the more appreciative of the joy of collaborative music making...there is a lot you can do to keep the ball rolling whilst singing together remains unfeasible.

So to any groups that are apart right now, keep this in mind!

Camden Voices can be found on YouTube,Facebook, and Instagram. They can be contacted at info@camdenvoices.co.uk

Article Contributors: Linda Duong, Olivia Ye