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In-person choir rehearsals are being held at NMU

“Just hearing their voices in person and hearing them sing in harmony again is definitely good for the soul. I think it’s good for everybody.”
Wee 4 of in-person rehearsals
Wee 4 of in-person rehearsals(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 4:48 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Music to the ears… Northern Michigan University choirs have been meeting and rehearsing in person for the past month, and NMU’s Director of Choirs, Erin Colwitz, couldn’t be happier.

“Just hearing their voices in person and hearing them sing in harmony again is definitely good for the soul. I think it’s good for everybody.”

And to ensure in-person rehearsals continue, the choirs are required to wear masks the entire time, but the department purchased special singers masks to make sure students are singing to their best ability.

“Basically, the singer’s masks give them a little extra space in the front of their mouth so they’re not inhaling fabric when they breathe, and it gives them a little extra space for resistance,” she said.

And to follow state guidelines and keep students safe, NMU went beyond mask wearing and social distancing

“We’ve kind of changed the way that we filter that air. So, that air gets dumped outside every 15 to 30 minutes,” she said.

And NMU freshman, Sophie Shrauger, said she’s excited for everyone to see what the choirs have in store.

“This semester I’m really looking forward to just preforming with everybody – especially in my major particularly. I’m just really eager for everybody to see what NMU’s choirs have to offer, especially in this crazy time we’re in,” Shrauger said.

And Reynolds Recital Hall which could once house up to 300 people can now only fit up to 61 after social distancing protocols.

“Everybody is 6 feet apart; all the chairs are marked with their seats and what seats they cannot sit in and what seats they can sit in. They have assigned seating so that they know where to go every single day,” Colwitz said.

And Colwitz is just happy to be back.

“It’s amazing to be singing again. We haven’t had live music for 6 months. Which, as a musician, is sort of like staving yourself.”

Colwitz said the choirs are currently working on performance videos and livestreams that will replace in-person concerts.

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