On Easter Sunday 2020, our congregation had gone three weeks without worshiping together. In an effort to honor the spirit of this feast day with shared music, our choir made a recording of the Easter hymn, “Jesus Christ is risen today.” But as we made this recording, we were not in the same room, in fact not even in the same zip code.
In order to record the hymn and still maintain a medically safe distance from one another, organist Wallace Hornady made a recording of the hymn from Alabama, where he was staying with his father. Wallace’s track was sent to choir members, who then recorded their own voices in the solitary safety of their homes. They then sent their recordings to music director Ken Myers, who mixed all of the recordings together and shared it with the congregation via this website.
That was the first of many recordings shared with the congregation over the coming months. Several weeks later, when we resumed services that did not include singing together, these recordings were used to accompany singing in our church yard and parking lot after each service.
The choir has found this experience to be bittersweet. Grateful to be singing, we are more aware than ever how much the experience of music is fulfilled with the presence of others.
Those “Choir in Quarantine” recordings are presented below. Some of the hymn titles include a link to a page with some background information to the hymn.