Fall Festival 2020 Activities: Choir and Chair Yoga

Choir Sing-Along Led by Marcie 

A small but enthusiastic choir gathered on Saturday prior to the talent show. For those of us who had sung at past retreats, it was wonderful to be together again under Marcie’s direction, especially after she wasn’t able to attend the last in-person retreat in Bad Homburg! And it was fun to see some new faces.

Marcie had arranged for her pianist/choir director friend Dorothy to record the accompaniment. Karen Kyker played each recording, and we all sang to ourselves while muted, in order to avoid the inevitable online lag that prohibits the synchronization of a live choir. Like all choirs, we could always use more male voices. But this time it didn’t matter because we couldn’t hear that they were missing!

Marcie chose a diverse, seasonal repertoire of mostly traditional hymns. I especially enjoyed “Now We Sing to Praise Love’s Blessing” by David Dawson of the Unitarian Music Society, who shared his music with us at past retreats. Sadly, David passed away from COVID-19 this year (here is Marcie’s tribute to him).

We took a break in the middle to share our experiences singing in other virtual choirs, and all concurred that we hope to be able to sing together in-person again soon. Thank you to Marcie and Karen!

Karin C from UUFP (Paris)

Chair Yoga with Melanie! 

As an on and off yoga practitioner (currently on) for what is now almost half of my life, I was surprised by how Melanie’s chair yoga was both gentle and challenging at the same time.  This was my first time doing chair yoga, and I was amazed by the number of postures that could be done sitting and standing next to a chair.  Melanie’s energy and warm spirit were palpable through the computer screen, as she guided us swiftly through the practice.  After spending so much time staring at the computer and talking, moving and stretching my body was just what I needed.  I hope to see her again at future retreats!

Jessica Shinnick Rotterdam, The Netherlands