Members of Risca Male Choir have sung together in person for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Sunday, June 6, the choir got together to practice at the grandstand at Pandy Park, home of Cross Keys Rugby Club.
Choir member Martin Hodson MBE said the practice session went well.
He told Caerphilly Observer: “It felt a bit strange seeing people again after so long.
“But it was all good. We were all chatting at the beginning before we started singing. We just needed to stretch our vocal chords.”
With coronavirus rules in Wales allowing up to 50 people to meet outdoors, the majority of the choir’s members are able to attend, with social distancing in place.
In total, 38 choristers attended the session, including one new member.
Mr Hodson, who used to be the choir’s Music Director, said only members who have had their two vaccine doses at least three weeks prior are able to attend the sessions.
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“As long as the weather is good, we will continue over the summer”, he added.
“Come next year, we’ll be looking out for events if everything goes well. But we don’t want to do anything that puts anyone at any risk.”
Earlier on during the pandemic, the choir turned to video conferencing app Zoom to practice their singing.
However, this proved unpopular with members, who found it difficult to sing together remotely.
Mr Hodson said: “Some didn’t like it, while others persevered but didn’t enjoy it. It was difficult to do so we abandoned it.”
As a result, the practice sessions were replaced with fortnightly social meet-ups over Zoom, which Mr Hodson said helped “keep sprits up”.
The newly-restarted Practice sessions are being held from 6pm to 7.30pm on Sundays, and from 7pm to 8.30pm on Thursdays.
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