Pandemic challenges music ministers, choirs

July 23, 2020 | by Sam Hodges

Pandemic challenges music ministers, choirs

Sid Davis never thought he’d be driving all over his sprawling city to have masked, socially distanced curbside visits with choir members.

But Davis, director of music and worship arts at Houston’s St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, has faced an empty choir loft and no in-person rehearsals since early March.

So he and wife Cindy are going ZIP code by ZIP code to check on more than 100 adult choir members. The couple even have a magnetic “Operation Curbside Convos” sign on their Mazda.

Sid Davis, director of music and fine arts at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Houston, and his wife, Cindy, spend time these days driving around visiting choir members. Davis and other music ministers say the pastoral part of their job has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic, which has choirs largely sidelined. Photo courtesy of Sid Davis.

“A lot of my work right now is all about people,” said Davis, in his 25th year at St. Luke’s. “If we want to make music again in person, we better have done our homework in keeping the community alive while we can’t gather.”

COVID-19 has disrupted United Methodist life in many ways and it’s done a number on congregational and choir singing, causing music ministers to scramble to keep music going and keep sidelined choir members engaged.

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Sam Hodges is a staff journalist with UMNews.
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