Isolation vs. Unification
Christopher Loftin shares his tips on how you can use this time to build your ensemble's culture
The COVID-19 era has affected almost every aspect of the Barbershop world and singing in general. One of the biggest reasons most of us stay in barbershop is the personal relationships and connections we have made with people from around the world. What we do truly is a communal experience that transcends anything that we can do on our own, and it is really hard for many of our members to come to terms with no weekly gatherings, community performances, conventions, or educational and outreach events.
However, this is the perfect time to build our ensemble’s culture. If not now, when? Why not:
- Contact every past and present member: ask how they are doing during this difficult time.
- Don’t sanction people who have stayed away: show you care about each as a person.
- Reach out regularly via text, phone, or even “snail” mail. If you know of loss of a job, health crisis, or hardship, ask how the chapter can help in a real way.
- Have a Zoom “Happy Hour” with no business or rehearsing. Make this about community and friendship. Include part performances and celebrate.
- Many chapters are having “show and tell” with old show programs, uniforms, and awards from the past. What a great way to share your chapter history with the newer folks!
We are so good about communicating a message of hope, love, and family to our audiences. Now is the time to reach out to our members, whether they are active or not, and take care of our family. We all just need to know that someone cares.