A message from the Coal Creek Community Chorus founder and director, Stephen Ross:
After a lot of research, conversations with my loved ones, and deep introspection, I have decided to require COVID vaccinations for singers in the fall term of the Coal Creek Community Chorus. I did not come to this decision lightly; the impetus of starting a choir in my community was to create a come one, come all, shared musical experience with no barrier to entry. But in our current circumstances, due to the health risks of COVID, I feel it is necessary to enact this policy for the safety and well-being of the very community this choir serves.
Singing requires a lot of deep and frequent inhalation and exhalation, with occasional violent consonants. As your director, I would be directly in the line of fire of that activity in weekly rehearsals. For my own personal health and protection, having only vaccinated singers in front of me will support my deeply held desire to not interact with this virus in a personal way. In addition, the well-being of my singers is extremely important to me, so in my view, creating a situation that could potentially compromise their health is a nonstarter.
Even vaccinated folks who have any hesitancy at all regarding coming together in an environment involving close proximity and singing are encouraged to refrain from participating until they feel more comfortable or the CDC announces the risks are mitigated. Furthermore, participating singers are welcome to continue to exercise whatever protocols they need to feel safe, such as mask wearing and social distancing in rehearsals whenever possible. Everyone should carefully weigh for themselves the pros and cons of singing in a choir.
While I have my own personal beliefs on vaccinations, I sincerely support one’s autonomy to make the best decision they can for their body. To be clear, this is not the policy of the Face Academy of Music, but rather that of only my musical offerings.
I hope you hear my heart as I announce this decision. I take no pleasure being in a position that encourages limited participation. But in this circumstance, my health, as well as the well-being of my family, kids, the immunocompromised folks in my life, and my esteemed CCCC singers, take precedence.