Its Concerts Canceled, Outer Cape Chorale Keeps Zooming
On March 9, the board of the Outer Cape Chorale decided to cancel the group’s upcoming rehearsals and concerts, even though the coronavirus epidemic was still in its early stages. It was a disappointment to many, but it turned out to be a prudent move, especially in light of news that a choir in Washington state that rehearsed on March 10 ended up with 45 cases of Covid-19 and two deaths. Artistic Director Allison Beavan says that choral rehearsals, which place over a hundred people in close proximity, many of them in their 60s or older, might have been the “perfect petri dish” for illness.
None of this has stopped the chorale from meeting virtually. On Tuesdays, the Chamber Singers, a subgroup of 18, rehearse via Zoom. Because online delays make it impossible for choristers to sing in unison, Beavan grounds the ensemble on piano, and the singers mute each other to focus on their individual parts. On Thursdays, the full chorale, with as many as 150 members, also rehearses on Zoom. Beavan says that despite the group’s size, attendance is near perfect. Beaven also gives the choristers lessons in music theory, sight-singing, and vocal technique. Sometimes, she shares videos of inspirational vocal performances. “It’s really going to expand their knowledge base,” she says.
The Zoom rehearsals also allow the community to continue socializing. “We have been isolated for such a long time that it is nice to be reminded that there are other people on the planet,” says Dianne Kopser, a member of the Chamber Singers. “It is lovely to see everyone’s faces.” As for Zoom, she adds, “It’s very intuitive. I just click on a link, and there I am in rehearsal.” For information on joining the chorale, email [email protected]. —Saskia Maxwell Keller
A Children’s Book Puts Provincetown First
Mariellen Serena, an artist who has been living in the East End of Provincetown since the late ’90s, says she has always been “floored that people thought the Mayflower went to Plymouth first.” Having written seven (unpublished) children’s books, including three that were illustrated by Ann Glover, whom Serena met in Los Angeles, she decided to do something about it.
“I thought it would be fun to make a kids’ book that was historically correct,” Serena says.
And so, she did. The self-published soft-cover Before Plymouth Rock sets the record straight about the Pilgrims landing here first in easy-to-read verse. Featuring charming illustrations by Glover, the book is now available on Amazon (for $12.99) and, Serena tells the Independent, “It will be sold at the Pilgrim Monument, whenever they open.” According to the monument’s website, that re-opening will happen “when guidance from state or federal officials deem it safe to do so.” —Howard Karren
Third Annual Broto Conference Goes Online
The Broto Conference, at which artists and scientists explore the implications of climate change together, will go online this May 16-17. And unlike previous conferences, which were held live in Provincetown, registration (at broto.eco) is free, though donations are welcome.
“This time around, we’re doing it on a very low budget,” conference director Ian Edwards tells the Independent. “Part of the Broto brand is to be adaptable. We’re pre-recording all the sessions. I’ve done two of them already. The panelists are from all over. They were Zoomed in. I was able to get speakers who were not otherwise able to attend. Up to 500 people can register for the panels, which will be broadcast. Questions can be typed in, with our panelists answering live.”
Some examples: “Deep Time and Climate,” with the Long Now Foundation’s Nicholas Paul Brysiewicz, artist-philosopher Jonathon Keats, and oceanographer Hilairy Hartnett, on Saturday, May 16, at 1 p.m.; “Time as a Muse,” with artist Elena Soterakis, sculptor Jonathan Latiano, photographer Daniel Ranalli, and Julia Buntaine Hoel, founder of the SciArt Initiative, on May 16 at 2:30 p.m.; and “Cathedral Thinking,” with author Rick Antonson, on Sunday, May 17, at 2 p.m. For a full schedule, go to broto.eco. And don’t miss the art exhibit “Time Sensitive,” which accompanies the conference but can be viewed now at broto.eco/time-sensitive-art-show/.
A panel has even been added on Covid-19. “There’s a behavior change for the Covid crisis that we ought to be able to do for the climate crisis,” Edwards says. —Howard Karren
An Outer Cape Sing-along on Saturday
On Saturday, April 25, at 7 p.m., Outermost Community Radio — WOMR-FM 92.1 in Provincetown, WFMR-FM 91.3 in Orleans, and womr.org — will broadcast the classic song “Old Cape Cod” as a gesture of gratitude for those who keep us safe, sound, and fed, and solidarity for all who love the Cape. Sing along at home or in your yard while keeping a safe distance. WOMR suggests you record it and post it on social media. Donations are welcome at womr.org.