For the first time since December 2019, the Turtle Creek Chorale will perform in person.
“Holidays Interrupted” on June 27 at the Fair Park Band Shell will showcase the holiday classics beloved by Dallas audiences at the chorale’s annual and much-anticipated holiday show. After the program was scaled down and performed virtually in 2020, the chorus was thrilled to return to in-person rehearsals in April after a year of closely watching the development of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though singing-friendly masks are available, the TCC recognized the innate risk of meeting in person to rehearse and perform in early March of last year. After a 14-month hiatus, choir leadership made the careful decision to meet in person for socially distanced, masked, and fully vaccinated rehearsals last month.
“It has been a constant struggle trying to balance what was safe for our members and patrons while also trying to maintain the organization’s relevance and presence in the community,” executive director Jeremy Wayne said. “Early on we formed a COVID-19 Task Force, made up of local medical and arts professionals that would meet and advise us on protocols and decisions about coming back. As 2021 came around the corner, we felt like things were finally starting to improve, and then when vaccines became readily available, we decided to rehearse in person. Our members have been incredibly amenable to the protocols in place.”
With the advice of the Task Force in mind, the TCC set a requirement that all members attending in-person activities be fully vaccinated while offering a live-streaming option to those still completing their vaccine regimens. Equipped with singer’s masks, immunization, and a hunger to get back into the swing of things, the choir planned the first in-person choral performance in the state of Texas in over a year at an outdoor venue, the historic Fair Park Band Shell.
Closely following CDC and local guidelines about safe behavior for vaccinated adults, the choir plans to update mask requirements for the outdoor show in the week before the event, in accordance with the most recent guidance from federal authorities and the choir’s COVID-19 Task Force. Motivated by passion for music and respect for themselves, others, and the community, members of the chorus have complied with health and safety guidelines throughout the planning and rehearsal processes. In late April, the CDC updated guidelines to reflect that fully vaccinated adults may remove masks in outdoor spaces with other fully vaccinated adults.
“The TCC has always been a trailblazer,” artistic director Sean Baugh said. “This year is no different as we are thrilled to be one the first major choral performances since the start of the pandemic. We wear this responsibility proudly, and fully understand the importance of this milestone. As all members are fully vaccinated, we hope to create a safe atmosphere for both singers and patrons and mark this important return to live choral music.”
After a 2020 holiday season that had quite a bit less cheer than usual, the chorus’ creative team is calling back to their final in-person performance before the pandemic, “40 Years of Fa La La” which included four sold-out shows at the Moody Performance Hall. This June, holiday favorites including We Need a Little Christmas, Winter Wonderland, and Light from the musical Next to Normal will be performed by 160 fully vaccinated members of the chorus. Tickets may be purchased for $30 each at turtlecreekchorale.com/.
“Instead of our usual magnificent holiday show, we presented a wonderful virtual holiday performance last year,” Baugh added. “But there is nothing like being together, experiencing the glorious music of the holidays in person. We all felt disappointment and empty hearts at the lack of in-person performances and knew we wanted to celebrate the season whenever and wherever we had a chance. Besides, we could all use a little joy and hope, even in 90-degree summer Dallas temperatures.”