Ahead of its fifth and final livestreamed concert for 2020, the Australian Chamber Choir’s Manager Elizabeth Anderson and Director Douglas Lawrence tell us about how the choir has coped with the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessons of livestreaming, and how they managed to produce a new Christmas CD during the lockdowns.

Douglas Lawrence Douglas Lawrence. Photo © Michael Lawrence

Choirs have been particularly hard-hit during the COVID-19 pandemic – how has the Australian Chamber Choir been coping?
Elizabeth Anderson:
After the initial sinking feeling, I started thinking about what we might be able to do for our singers and for our listeners. There were plans A, B C, and D and the details kept changing, but the basic outline remained pretty much the same. There were two things that we could do: livestreamed concerts and mining our archive to produce and release videos and sound recordings.

How did you manage to produce a CD during the lockdowns?
EA:
It was a fluke! At first it was just an idea and it seemed a bit far-fetched, as everything was closed. But during Melbourne’s second lockdown I was short of things to do. There were recordings from a...