Nonprofit Insider

Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs Hits the Pause Button

Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs (GMYC) Board of Directors and staff have made the difficult decision to pause all choral activities from July through December 2020. The decision comes after five national choral and singing organizations recommended that no choral singing or choral-related activities take place until we have reliable ways to trace, treat, or vaccinate for Covid-19. “It is hard to imagine a world without singing together,” says Artistic Director Esther Rhoades, “because no matter if you’re 2 or 102, singing and music are central to every one of us.”

According to a May 5thwebinar hosted by The National Association of Teacher of Singing (NATS), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Chorus America, Barbershop Harmony Society, and Performing Arts Medical Association (PAMA), a singer can project her breath up to 16’, and wearing masks effectively could pose serious risks for any singer, especially those with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

“Choral organizations like ours must keep the health of our singers and community at the center of the mission,” says Rhoades. “We want to make sure it’s safe for audiences to gather once again, too.”

Even though we will cannot bring choirs together at this time, GMYC will be working behind the scenes so that choirs can hit the ground running to offer exceptional choral opportunities and experiences to our region’s youth and communities. This month, GMYC will make public an important collaborative choral project. GMYC is grateful for the support received from community members and grants from foundations. Rhoades says, “we’re eager to reopen, to press ‘play’ once again, but it just needs more time.”

GMYC is the performance-based choral music education program for young singers in the Monadnock region. GMYC ensembles frequently perform regionally at festivals, events, and public gatherings, collaborate with area choirs and arts organizations, and travel regionally and internationally. GMYC is based in Peterborough and Keene and offers professional rehearsal and performance environments that foster musical expression, a deep appreciation of music, and meaningful, lifelong friendships. GMYC offers a bully-free environment for all youth accepted through audition.

To learn more about GMYC, please visit or contact Esther Rhoades, GMYC Artistic Director, at

Posted on: May 29, 2020
Topics: Something New

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