The choir has been apart since the beginning of the pandemic.
After more than a year of separated singing, the Temple Beth Israel choir is back. The section leaders and four members returned to the choir section on Aug. 23 under the direction of director Ann Stephenson-Moe.
The choir had not practiced together in person since March of 2020, but when the singers got together it was like no time had passed. Choir members found their seats and their places in the music quickly; the only new aspect was that now their faces stayed covered. Stephenson-Moe led everyone through warmup exercises before diving in.
“It’s so nice to see you back where you belong,” Stephenson-Moe said to her singers.
The High Holidays are coming up, with Rosh Hashanah on Sept. 7 and Yom Kippur on Sept. 16. The choir will sing at the now in-person services with three practice sessions behind them, so they quickly moved into practicing their pieces for then.
“We are sitting in every other seat and everybody’s been vaccinated and one of the couples is married so we are managing the best we can," Stephenson-Moe said. "Once the High Holy Days are over, we will go to every other week."
The fall choir will start on Oct. 25 and Stephenson-Moe is hoping to have new members come. There are currently 10 singers at the temple, including Stephenson-Moe, and more than that would be difficult to manage, but the choir usually has 16-18 singers during high season. The only prerequisite for joining is an appreciation of singing.