'Everybody can relate': Local choir creates sea shanty on life amid pandemic
Members of the Chronos Vocal Ensemble created a sea shanty detailing life with the pandemic. (Courtesy: Ken Stead Productions)
EDMONTON -- A local choir has jumped on board with a trend that gained ground on TikTok, in the process highlighting choir life amid the pandemic.
Members of the Chronos Vocal Ensemble came up with the idea of a sea shanty video at the end of February, after growing a bit idle due to not being able to practice in-person due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We really latched on to the idea of doing a shanty, because they have been a really big deal on social media lately,” said artistic director Jordan Van Biert.
“And it’s not often that a social media fad ties in so well with that we do as choral musicians.”
Using Barrett’s Privateers by Stan Rogers as a jumping off point, the lyricist of the shanty created a song detailing life with the pandemic.
“The lyrics are great, the song has a narrative to it, it’s a real adventure,” said Stephanie Mattingly, drawing inspiration from the sadness of the song to the sadness of choral rehearsals in the time of COVID-19.
“I didn’t want to just dwell on that, so I wrote a song that’s steered towards nostalgia about how we would love to be getting back together and singing again and how we miss everything from the best aspects of choral singing to maybe the less great aspects, like on tour.”
Van Biert kicks off the start of the video, slowly being joined by choir members until it grows into a full eight part acapella choral piece.
Since being posted online Wednesday, the clip has amassed more than 5,000 hits on their Facebook page, speaking to more than just choir members struggling with the pandemic.
“Everybody can relate to those things that they want to do and especially things with people who share their passions and that we have to have hold on right now, or find new ways to do,” said Van Biert.
“It’s frustrating sometimes, but it also offers lots of creativity.”
With files from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk