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"A Pandemic Isn't Going To Silence Us": A Ventura County Choral Society Finding Ways To Audition

Channel Islands Choral Association

A Ventura County choral organization has found a way to audition singers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Channel Islands Choral Association has opened up auditions over Zoom. 

The experience may be virtual, but for these singers, the scale of the audition is every bit as great if it were in person.

Jillian Nye is one singer who is trying out for the Channel Islands Choral Association over Zoom and she says she loves the idea that it's being opened up to the greater community. 

It’s that wider opportunity which the president of the association – Dean Butler – says has been the most welcome change during the public health crisis.

"This pandemic has caused all of us in the arts to rethink how we do perform.  Coming out on the other side of this I think we will probably keep the virtual aspect because it is more accessible to a number of people, " Butler told KCLU. 

Research has shown that singing can be good for you on many levels.

It may help lower stress, boost immunity and lung function, enhance memory, improve mental health, and help you cope with physical and emotional pain. 

Positives which may be ideal at this time, when there is so much grief and isolation.

"If you remember in March 2020, when the pandemic was rearing its ugly head, we remember seeing the people of Italy singing outside on their balcony windows," adds Butler. 

"Everything that we have been hit with as a nation has only emphasized the need for music to be that which brings people together and unites people and brings joy into their lives. We are devoted to keeping the joy alive - in a safe way.

"It's a healing force. It's kind of primeval within humanity - that aspect of singing. We have developed for millenia with the desire to sing. That can't be silenced. A pandemic is not going to silence it." 

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 10 Golden Mike Awards, 5 Los Angeles Press Club Awards, 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards and a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Writing.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for eleven years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.
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