Almost a year ago, in March 2020, the Covid-19 pan-demic shut down most of the country. People sheltered at home. Businesses closed. Churches suspended services.
Everywhere, music fell silent. Artists feared for their livelihoods. People of faith wondered when they’d sing together again.
The silence didn’t last long. Turns out, it takes a lot more than a pandemic to suppress our human need to sing, play and be transported by music.
Singers, songwriters, choral groups and instrumental players devised new creative ways to bring God’s glorious gift of music to their communities.
GUIDEPOSTS went in search of these resilient musicians. Across the United States, we found people of faith and goodwill meeting the challenge of the pandemic with a song in their heart and music at their fingertips. We’d like to introduce you to a few of these inspiring artists.
Dimitri Pittas and Leah Edwards
Charleston, South Carolina
Married opera singers Dimitri Pittas and Leah Edwards were stuck at home. Singing engagements were canceled. “It could have been so easy to step away from it all and say, ‘What’s the point?’” Dimitri says.
Yet something compelled the couple to keep practicing, singing arias and scenes from operas. The lockdown was depressing, but they sang anyway.
One day, a neighbor said she’d enjoyed overhearing them practice. That gave Dimitri and Leah an idea.
“We thought it could be fun to stage a mini-concert outside,” Leah says. A pianist friend played in the driveway while Dimitri and Leah sang from the porch. Neighbors listened from their yards.
“It was just supposed to be a one-off,” Leah says. “Then neighbors asked if we could do it again next week.”
Soon the couple was singing weekly all over Charleston. They started a nonprofit to offer live outdoor opera and musical theater to even more people: Holy City Arts & Lyric Opera (HALO). They called their concert series “Social Distance-SING!”
Rave reviews poured in. One woman said the concert she’d attended didn’t just change her day—it changed her whole month.
“The most surprising part has been the catharsis,” Leah says. “Not just for us as performers but for them as listeners. Everyone is having big feelings right now without having a way to express them. Music lets us do that.”
“We knew people were missing an emotional connection,” Dimitri says. “We were able to give them that with music.” Find out more and request a local performance at holycityarts.org.
Association of Lutheran Church Musicians,Valparaiso, Indiana
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