The Twin Rivers Community Choir learned to adapt through the pandemic. Photo: Submitted

The Twin Rivers Community Choir learned to adapt through the pandemic. Photo: Submitted

Finding their voices during the pandemic: How the Twin Rivers Choir kept going

Castlegar’s community choir learned to adapt

The Twin Rivers Community Choir (TRCC) was established in 2010 and has grown each year in popularity, membership and community support. By Christmas of 2020 the choir had grown to 51 choristers and performed three sold-out Christmas concerts.

The choir’s director, Christina Allen (Nolan) was awarded Castlegar’s 2018 Citizen of the Year, in part for the positive impact the choir contributes to the community.

Once the pandemic hit, TRCC ceased to rehearse in person. They stayed connected and active via virtual projects that required a tremendous amount of effort by the board and artistic director.

The projects began in July 2020 and over 12 months members rehearsed, recorded, mixed, edited and published 10 YouTube videos. Thanks to funding from local partners they were able to offset costs and make the projects affordable and enjoyable.

These projects entailed meetings, sectional rehearsals, individual and group recordings, and adopting new Dropbox and Zoom platforms. When weather and health restrictions permitted, outdoor rehearsals were held. They also included many friends and family from as far away as Romania and four Canadian provinces.

TRCC was also pleased to include contributions from the West Kootenay Camera Club and other community organizations to add local interest to the projects.

After intense research and planning the choir eventually developed policies and protocols for safe in-person rehearsing.

As a result, they began the fall 2021 season doing hybrid in-person (fully vaccinated, masked, socially distanced) and simultaneous online rehearsals.

The choir now has 42 registered members.

“As we bring our choir community back together, we hope that 2022 will continue to elicit more good news and performances,” says choir member Janelle Ellis.

If you are interested in joining or want more information about the choir, visit

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