Presentation at Podium Choral Conference and Festival 2022

Dreaming Up During COVID-19 Pandemic: The Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) Virtual Choir as the Largest Choir in Ottawa’s History

During the COVID-19 pandemic, several ensembles braved the risk of exploring online work, while others ceased all activities. The Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) Virtual Choir project grew out of my interest to explore the extent to which online music instruction tactics were attainable on a large scale. With over 300 participants, this cross-disciplinary collaboration resulted in the largest choir in Ottawa’s history.

Podium Choral Conference Saeideh Rajabzadeh a413c09a

The goal of this presentation is to share methodologies through which an inter-generational choir opened up new pathways for choristers with a variety of needs to engage with art while having different skillsets in music and technology. With a focus on accessibility approaches in performing arts and through discussions of artistic and pedagogical decision-making, my collaboration with the marketing, outreach, accessibility, and patrons services, I hope to tell the story of how the GCTC Virtual Choir supported this large-scale musical endeavour in a 7-week rehearsal period to bring people’s voices together in hope during a time of artistic inactivity.

To watch the choir videos, click the links below:

“Rhythm of Life” from Sweet Charity by Cy Coleman, arranged by John Leavitt
Walk Hand in Hand by Johnny Cowel, arranged by Stephen DeCesare

I live and work on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin and Anishinaabe people.

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