After more than a year and a half of absence, members of South Holland Master Chorale announce their return to active singing and are preparing for upcoming holiday performances, including a 4 p.m. performance Sunday, Dec. 5, at St. Joseph Church, 17951 Dixie Highway in Homewood.
The chorale will be joined by the Chicago Gargoyle Brass Ensemble for a program of traditional and contemporary holiday favorites by Robert Shaw, Philip Stopford, Ralph Vaughn Williams and others. Featured work of the holiday programs will be the magnificent “Gloria” by John Rutter.
The concert is free, with freewill donations accepted. In line with health recommendations and out of an abundance of caution, audience members will be required to wear masks at the performances.
The last public concerts the chorale performed were in December 2019, before the group canceled rehearsals in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Those were tough times for everyone,” Director Albert M. Jackson said. “The chorale has really become like an extended family, and it was very difficult not to be able to meet and support one another.”
Even when conditions began to ease, the chorale board was hesitant to begin rehearsals out of concern for the health of the members and the families. Regular rehearsals finally began Sept. 13, with the requirement that all participants be fully vaccinated and masked during rehearsals. Singers also are directed to maintain social distance while singing. The group is rehearsing at St. Joseph Church because it provides enough space for singers to social distance.
Jackson said the return to singing together has brought palpable excitement to the choristers.
“While we are steadfastly taking all the best preventive and protective measures to mitigate the spread of the COVID virus, we are joyfully engaging once again in rehearsals and preparation for our Christmas concerts” and plans for a regular season in 2022, he said.