As COVID numbers have been rising due to the Delta variant, we have received inquiries regarding any changes in our fall plans. At this time, Encore intends to proceed with our normal schedule, as previously announced, beginning September 7th.
The counties we serve show a significantly lower number of cases per 100,000 population compared to the U.S. overall. We are requiring all to be vaccinated, wear masks, and social distance, and even if a vaccinated person contracts COVID, the symptoms are generally mild. Fewer than 1% of COVID cases occur in those who have been vaccinated. We have been monitoring all available sources of guidance, including CDC, Chorus America, and other major choral organizations’ plans and feel reasonably confident in this decision.
Encore’s decision is based upon certain non-negotiable requirements. This does not apply to those singing online only.
- All singers and conductors must show proof of full vaccination.
- All singers and conductors must be masked.
- All singers will be socially distanced.
Scenario of our first rehearsal:
- BRING YOUR COVID VACCINATION CARD (or a copy) AND MASK (PREFERABLY A SINGER’S MASK).
- Bring a pen and pencil
- Bring your own sanitizer and use it after you are seated.
- Be very careful of social distancing when standing in line to enter the rehearsal room. Please allow six feet (two arm’s length) between you and next person.
- Staff and chorale masters will be at the rehearsal venue one-half hour before rehearsal begins.
- Singers with names beginning A thru M arrive one-half hour before the first rehearsal.
- Singers with names beginning N thru Z arrive twenty minutes before the first rehearsal.
- We asked that no hugging or handshakes take place. That pains me to say this, but during COVID it is the right thing to do.
- Singers will show their COVID vaccination card to an Encore staff person or Chorale Master. You can also have a picture of it on your phone. PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO BRING YOUR COVID CARD. We cannot allow you to rehearse if you do not have it. Bringing it “next week” simply will not work. You will not be allowed to rehearse. You will be given your music and if you requested it, your rehearsal CD.
- You will be given a waiver form to fill out with your own pen and return immediately. (The waiver is attached below for your review prior to rehearsal.) Among other information, the waiver states that you will not hold Encore liable for any illness.
- An Encore staff member or conductor will direct you where to sit. Chairs will be distanced six feet apart. Please do not move chairs. If you rehearse in church pews, sit six feet apart (two arm’s length.)
- If you feel you need to take your mask off during rehearsal for a rest, go outside and remove your mask. At no time in rehearsal may you remove your mask.
- Singers will not be getting a “break” during rehearsal. If you need to use the restroom, that is fine.
- Smile with your eyes! 😊
- SING WITH YOUR FRIENDS! ENJOY!!!!!!
Question: What will happen if COVID cases increase and will not allow us to hold some of the “LIVE REHEARSALS?”
Answer: Encore will add online rehearsals to cover rehearsals missed because of a shutdown.
Question: What happens if someone notifies the Encore office to say they have tested positive for COVID?
Answer: Encore will immediately contact all singers in that specific program. That individual Chorale will shut down for 2 weeks (14-day quarantine) and during those weeks, that class will be switched to online.
Please understand COVID and COVID guidance seems to change daily. We are watching carefully. This has been a very difficult time for all of us. COVID has exhausted us all. Please know the Encore staff is doing everything we can to provide safety and allow you to happily sing.
Encore will update our singers when there is a need. Please try not to email us. Our small staff cannot keep up with the many emails we receive. We promise to keep you posted on any changes.