The Virtual Song Circles are surprisingly fun. It's true that you can't sing harmony in the VSCs, but there are many advantages to being on line: the greatest advantage is that we have people that couldn't possibly come together physically; they come all over to be in the VSC. But also, it's convenient being in your own home - you don't have to take a bus or drive to get there. And, of course, since people are muted, the singers aren't distracted by coughing, chatter, or people tuning an instrument. The VSCs are actually pretty great.
Come when you like, stay as long as you like, leave when you need to. We get together at 5:30 PM every Saturday evening, and start singing at 6:00. We will wind up the moderated part of the evening at 10:00 PM, although people are welcome to stick around later if they like, and in fact, people stick around until well after midnight.
This is open to everyone. We have participants from all along the West Coast, as well as some from the East Coast and Europe and Australia. The moderator will establish the order in which people get to sing - usually more or less first-come-first-serve. Once the singing starts, we'll try to keep it moving along at a brisk pace, especially if there are a lot of people, for the first round; we get a bit more chatty for the second and subsequent rounds. We ask people to mute themselves when others are singing, and if you don't, the moderator may mute you.
When everyone is muted, we can applaud by waving our hands.
We use the Zoom platform. If you have never used Zoom before, just click on the URL (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87176553766) or copy into your browser. Zoom may ask to install a small app. Just say yes to everything and you will be connected quickly.
Ideally, it's good to have a computer with a good camera and a good mic, but use whatever you have; many people connect by phone, too. To get the best image, make sure you are brightly lit up, ideally with a calm darker background. To get the best sound, sing closer to the mic on your computer. Especially if you are playing an instrument, turn on "Original Sound" in Zoom. Do the best you can, and then don't worry - it will be fine!
Thanks for coming. We are looking for moderators, so let us know, after the song circle, if you would like to take that on. Moderating requires a certain technical and personality skill set; if you have the skills, we would love to have you moderate!
Watch this space for updated information. As you know, the times they are a changin', and we'll try to adapt to them.
Thanks, stay safe, and keep singing!