“Here in Madrid, I have 5 choirs, each with different characteristics.
They are community choirs made up of amateur singers. I have two choirs of about 50 singers and othersmaller ones of about 12 to 18 singers.
The repertoire is very varied, ranging from a Mozart mass to popular world music. We have done medieval music, French chanson and Latin American popular music.
Since the first week of the lockdown, I have been organizing meetings and rehearsal attempts through Zoom. My rehearsals consist of breathing exercises to improve breathing capacity, vocalization exercises to keep the instruments as good as possible and working in sections to strengthen the voices, using the Zoom rooms. I also prepare material to give the singersinformation about the works, to give them the context and, essentially, to keep them interested in singing and the group. I have edited videos of “virtual choirs” with all these choirs, you can see them on my YouTube channel: Jose Mena Polo.
Most of our concerts have been postponed without a date. We hope to be able to start again at the end of June if the authorities deem it possible, but we don’t really know when this willbe the case.”