The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

University Voices Choir adapts to distance, goes virtual

University Voices Choir adapts to distance, goes virtual - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s choir, University Voices rehearses on Oct. 15, 2019 in the auditorium on campus. The group has permission to use the auditorium space rather than the small classroom they used before. Mesquite File Art: Photo by Jessica Lann

Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s University Voices Choral Group is going virtual this semester. 

Headed by Martha Saywell, A&M-San Antonio’s first full-time music instructor, the choir plans to continue practicing from home through Zoom.

Participants will receive a recording created by Saywell to sing along to, recording their voice on a separate device, like a phone. Those recordings will then be collected and edited together to sound like one choir. 

The choir currently has 15 members working on “Why We Sing” by Greg Gilpin. Saywell chose the piece for its themes of hope, peace and standing together, which she feels is important given the current political climate and COVID-19 pandemic. Editing on this first song was scheduled to start Nov. 2 with plans for release before December.

“It’s not a ton of work, but I can see where it could be a little intimidating because they won’t be singing in a group of people. They’ll be singing in their living room or wherever by themselves, which can be a little bit weird,“ Saywell said.

Saywell says the choir is volunteer-based and open to current students, alumni, staff and faculty members. The partners and children, ages 15 and up, of choir members are also eligible to join. No auditions are required. 

“Alumni can come. There was one semester that we had a staff member who was doing homeschooling with her daughter so her daughter would come,” Saywell said. “She was in high school. So we’ll take anyone who wants to do it.”

 If interested in joining the choir or other music opportunities provided by A&M-San Antonio, contact Saywell at msaywell@tamusa.edu for more information and to be put on the email list. Notifications are sent out once a week, giving updates on what’s to come.

Information about the choir can also be found at the University Voices’ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TAMUSAUniversityVoices/

About the Author

Christian Toler
Christian Toler
Christian Toler is a communication sophomore at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. A San Antonio native, Christian works as a piano instructor at Black Box Music & Arts. She plans to travel the world one day and enjoys playing music, writing stories and creating art in her free time. She hopes to use her new learned skills in writing and communication to create something she can be proud of and to help grow her family’s business.

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