UPDATED: Announcement re: COVID-19

In News by Rob Bowman

COVID-19: The challenge of singing and performing together in isolation

It was mid-March when the COVID-19 lockdown made it impossible for Tone Cluster to rehearse together in person and perform in front of appreciative audiences. The pandemic has forced the cancellation of our planned concert, Gay Poets Society, our annual major fundraising event, Show Tune Showdown, and our final concert, Common Threads.

Our priority is the health and safety of our chorus members, our musicians and our audience. We will not return to rehearse in person or perform in a concert venue until our health authorities say it is safe to do so.

Information about the coronavirus evolves and we continue to learn more every day. In May 2020, a national panel of choral directors and medical experts revealed that, until there is a vaccine and a 95% effective treatment for COVID-19, there is no safe way for singers to rehearse in-person. Although this news is disheartening, this queer community of singers will persevere.

Despite the limitations placed on us by COVID-19, Tone Cluster remains resilient and will not just survive but will thrive during this challenging time. We will be assisted by technology as we sing, socialize, learn, and hopefully perform together virtually and use these circumstances as an opportunity to re-envision what we can do. It will be a time to adapt and be creative.  

The newly elected Board of Directors is working hard to organize what will almost certainly be a virtual season in 2020-2021. We also plan to be in close contact with other LGBTQ+ choirs, looking for best practices in adapting to these extraordinary circumstances. 

If you are a fan of Tone Cluster and want to help us as we navigate the way forward, a donation (where your finances permit at this challenging time) would be very much appreciated. The loss of concert and fundraising revenues this season was a major setback for us, so anything you can give would help to place us on a firmer financial footing. To do so, the Donate button is on the right side of this page.

We also want to thank our grantors, the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Ottawa, for their steadfast support during this period of transition.

We’ll meet again. Until we join together as singers or audience members, stay safe and healthy, keep singing and take time to enjoy the wealth of virtual performances in your community and beyond.

Rob Bowman


Tone Cluster – quite a queer choir