The global pandemic has turned the choral world upside down, notably for LGBTQ+ choirs who depend on the deep community found in these spaces. Tone Cluster is committed to finding safe and engaging ways to connect socially and musically during this time, and I’m thrilled to see the ongoing dedication from our members.
Deirdre Kellerman, Artistic Director (virtual)
Finding Tone Cluster 8 years ago was like coming home to a part of myself that had been away a long time. Connections are nurtured and grown into lifelong friendships. Tone Cluster is a great choir but also an incredibly important social outlet for many people like myself who are a bit introverted and quiet. It has become even more important this year for us to be able to see each other, virtually, and sing together as much as technology allows. This has provided a buffer against the particular strain of loneliness that comes with self-isolation in a pandemic. Just as important is our ability to continue to reach our community with our voices, a community that already lives minimally and is feeling the additional stress of isolation during this time. It helps to know we can still find ways to connect with kindness and good intention with each other and with those who support us.
Janel Goyette, soprano
I have been a member of Tone Cluster since shortly after its inception 27 years ago. For me Tone Cluster has been a place to create great music with friends, advance positive social change and build community. It has provided me with life-affirming and life-changing musical moments. As a Board member I am committed to help steer Tone Cluster’s evolution as a vital part of Ottawa’s LGBTQ2S+ community.
Roger Butt, Baritone, TC Board of Directors
During this time of physical distancing and reduced social contact, Tone Cluster gives me a supportive and creative space to continue singing and working on creating music with others. This is so important to my happiness and mental health.
Bridget Grounds, Alto
Singing in the choir has been a source of joy and community connection in my life over the last many years. We have put together some very creative concerts and had a lot of fun along the way. I am proud of what Tone Cluster has achieved in terms of artistic expression and connection within the 2SLGBTQ+ community and beyond. As the pandemic hit, there was a lot of uncertainty about how we could continue our activities. After much hard work, ingenuity and a touch of serendipity, I’m confident that Tone Cluster is emerging stronger than ever. Our new Artistic Director and Accompanist have shifted our activities to a virtual environment, which has attracted new members and the return of Tone Cluster alumni. Our video recordings and upcoming online concerts have allowed friends and family far from our home base in Ottawa to enjoy our music. The possibilities for creative and joyful expression continue to expand our musical horizons. While I do look forward to singing and performing with my fellow choir mates in person again soon, I am delighted that we remain connected, creative and happy. This is what it’s all about!”
Andrew Sacret, Tenor
Preparing for the launch of our You Tube Christmas Concert this year was a real heart opener for me. Our Zoom practicing of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, a 1958 hit by Brenda Lee, brought up a lot of happiness and many good memories for me. Getting dressed up for the video recording … earrings, lipstick, etc made me feel I was going somewhere – for a change! Singing in Tone Cluster brings a special kind of energy I had forgotten about these last few months.
Colleen Glass, Soprano
Tone Cluster is a haven of camaraderie and joy and is unlike any space I’ve ever been a part of. I have flourished in my personal and musical identity here and was incredibly lucky to have joined a few months before the start of COVID. I have ironically been at my most social during the pandemic, from choir practice to Zoom-led extracurricular activities with Tone Cluster. I was welcomed into this choir with open arms and am so happy to have settled into a group where I feel like I truly belong.
Marie Gilbert, Soprano