For the first time in two years, the Central Oregon Mastersingers took to the stage at the Tower Theatre in Bend for holiday concerts on Saturday and Sunday.
COVID-19 forced them to cancel last year’s event, and the group of 45 singers was eager to return to the stage with 17 new members since their last show.
“We were all more nervous, I think, than we have been in a long time,” said Artistic Director and Conductor Christian Clark. “The butterflies that we often experience before a performance were there. But once we got onstage, it was just magical. The audience was excited, and we were excited, and the choir sang as best they could. It was just a wonderful experience.”
The group performed 23 songs in the two-hour Here We Come A-Caroling! shows, including traditional carols like O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and What Child is This?
For some pieces, they were joined by the local Dove String Quartet.
All of the choir members wore masks onstage; a major change from previous performances.
“Thankfully, a number of audience members said the masks disappeared after we got started. They didn’t notice we were wearing them,” Clark said.
“The sound doesn’t really change that much. I’ve worked with the choir to make sure we’re expressive with our eyes since the rest of our faces are covered.”
Clark hoped that everyone left the show “feeling uplifted and in the holiday spirit.”
For information about future performances, visit their website at centraloregonmastersingers.org.