Victories Both Big and Small
BY ANDREW FABIAN SRQ DAILY FRIDAY WEEKEND EDITION FRIDAY JULY 3, 2020
There are two questions Bruce Ensinger keeps hearing over and over again. When is it safe to rehearse, and when is it safe to perform? As accompanist and one of the choirmasters for Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota, Ensinger still does not have an answer. “If the numbers keep going up, who knows?” he says.
That uncertainty applies to his own life as much as it does to the singers he works with. His church has closed, his freelance work as an accompanist has dried up and his monthly block parties have been shelved until further notice. Lately, the best he and the singers of Diversity have been able to do is a weekly Twitch stream hosted by artistic director Christopher Romeo that includes an hour of vocal technique and an hour of repertoire work. Though it may be a nice way to stay connected, nobody pretends these virtual sessions are as fulfilling as the real thing. “It’s just not the same when you can’t hear what the group sounds like together,” says Ensinger, “what singers love is singing with other people.”
In spite of all the sacrifices being made in the spirit of public health or the onslaught of headlines from the frontlines of the Black Lives Matter movement, Ensinger has found ways to be positive. His cheerful disposition reflects a deep well of optimism he has managed to dip into to fill his time with joy. “I like to say that if the glass isn’t half full, get a smaller glass and keep filling,” he says. So, Ensinger kept filling. He kept up his piano work by adding to and refining his repertoire, got busy making masks for his neighbors and for frontline workers, and found himself engaged in projects around the house. “My husband and I moved here four years ago,” he says, “and we still have some things to unpack.” Cookbooks mixed in with tax documents, artwork in need of frames, knickknacks needing to be dusted off or given to Goodwill.
The small victories of the homebound helped to fill Ensinger’s cup, but larger victories reinforced his optimism. The US Supreme Court recently upheld legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. “When I saw all the conservative justices confirmed, it was a little scary,” says Ensinger, “but I think the court of public opinion is on the right side, and obviously it’s a big relief that the Supreme Court decided the way it did.” No matter the size and scale of the victory, Ensinger finds time to celebrate. “It’s easy to be overwhelmed in these times,” says Ensinger, “but each morning we have two choices: we can say ‘good morning, God’ or we can say ‘good God, morning.’”
Our Annual Meeting was held al-fresco at St Andrew UCC on Saturday, June 20, 2020, with everyone social distancing or wearing masks. The Board Members and Executive members remain the same as last year. See the Chorus page on the About page.
A special Thank You to EVERYONE who made a donation and to The Patterson Foundation for matching the donations and to the Community Foundation of Sarasota for their organization of this event.
|The Patterson Foundation provided a 1:1 match for all individual donations between $25 and $100 per donor.|
Click here to hear a message from our Accompanist, Bruce Ensinger.
Click here to see a compilation of pictures of Diversity members set to a recording of our performance of Love is Love. Enjoy!
A letter from our President about our canceled May 3, 2020 performance:
|March 16, 2020
On behalf of the Diversity Chorus, it is with sadness that we have made the decision to suspend our rehearsals and postpone our upcoming concert on May 3rd. Keeping our singers safe and keeping you, our loyal supporters safe was first and foremost in our decision-making process.
If you have already purchased tickets to our May 3rd concert, “Broadway or Bust,” please know that you will be able to use the tickets for one of our next 3 events (fall 2020, Cabaret in December and spring 2021). It is our hope that you will use your tickets then. You can also donate the price of your ticket back to Diversity. Please feel free to contact us with any questions at contact@DiversitySarasota.org or call 888-550-6279.
We depend on income from our performances and member dues so we will have to tighten our belts through this difficult time and we hope that you will still support us in the upcoming Giving Challenge fundraiser that takes place from noon on Tuesday, April 28 through noon on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. This giving event will not be affected by COVID-19 as it is totally online. For information, click here for their FAQ’s.
Bern Cattanach, President
Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota
GALA Festival in Minneapolis has been postponed to 2021.
We’ll be joining thousands of singers from around the world in celebration of acceptance and music. Founded in 1982 by fourteen choruses, GALA Choruses has become the leading international association of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied choruses. The mission of GALA Choruses is inspiring and strengthening member choruses to change their worlds through song. By fostering the artistic and organizational development of member choruses through a wide variety of programs and services, GALA Choruses produces choral festivals, educational conferences and several publications. We engage in advocacy, provide grants for the commissioning of new choral works, facilitate networking within the Association, and serve as a resource center for choruses and individual Associates from around the world.