For the past six years, the professional singers of Skylark Vocal Ensemble have flocked to Cape Cod for a summer retreat. They stay in the same houses, rehearse, catch up with one another, prepare for recordings, and plan for the future. For artistic director Matthew Guard, the Boston-area group already feels like family, which makes the annual outing their reunion. But COVID-19 means neither family reunions nor choir rehearsals are advised by most health authorities in 2020.
Skylark still managed to pull off a retreat this summer, but it looked very different from the usual. Only a handful of Skylarks and family members participated. All were contracted to quarantine and monitor for symptoms for two weeks beforehand. And once on the Cape, they unmasked; they shared a house and meals, hugged each other, and hunkered down to rehearse and record an impressive spread of digital mini-concerts — voices ringing out