As COVID-19 persists, the choir keeps on

Despite the social and physical challenges due to the pandemic, the McLaughlin College Community Choir (MCCC) is well into its third season and continues to hold weekly rehearsals virtually and put out a steady stream of performances online. 

In response to COVID-19, it is not uncommon to host virtual choirs, and the pandemic has only proved how important it is to stay connected and creative.  

“The purpose of our community choir at McLaughlin College, from its very founding, is to give all our students another outlet and safe space where they can enjoy making music and sing with others at our college and the rest of York University,” says James C. Simeon, associate professor and head of McLaughlin College.  

Simeon stresses the pandemic and the University closures have not dampened MCCC’s dedication to the great choral tradition within York University. He points out, “virtual choirs are completely different from the in-person experience, but it is no less interesting, informative, and delightful when it is offered as an online experience. This is largely due to having a talented and gifted choir director who knows how to engage and to motivate each member of the choir.” 

The MCCC Director, Sebastian Moreno, completed his undergraduate studies in music at York and is working on his master’s degree at York’s music department. He is also an organist and active member of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Moreno notes, “community choirs are central to the choral tradition and offer a unique element that seeks to incorporate the entire community in music-making. Everyone makes their own contribution to the choir and together they add their special blend to the choral music that is produced.” 

The choir is open to all faculty, staff, Fellows and York University students. Previous musical experience is not required. Founded in 2019, the choir offers a wide range of musical and life experiences of its choristers, making MCCC a unique and vibrant part of the community. 

Moreno explains the only prerequisite to joining is a natural love for all music. “The MCCC has practiced and performed everything from love ballads to holiday classics, to stirring musical numbers, and ancient tunes and scores. Often, our choristers suggest the music that we ought to be rehearsing and performing.”  

From singing “My Shot” from the broadway musical “Hamilton” to “Imagine” by John Lennon, choristers of MCCC can be found singing in their home offices, living rooms and outdoors, further proving no distance or restrictions can stop them from performing together.  

McLaughlin College Community Choir (MCCC) performs “Imagine” by John Lennon

“We want all our students to start this new year and semester right, and for those who have a love of music and want the company of others who are like-minded, the MCCC is just the thing for them,” says Simeon.  

Rehearsals take place via Zoom on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Sebastian Moreno, at Past performances can be viewed on MCCC’s YouTube channel.