In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Choral Directors Association, Barbershop Harmony Society, Chorus America, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing are working together to provide a unified voice for leaders of singing ensembles and voice professionals throughout the United States and North America. We continue to seek evolving solutions for our field as more information is available and more research is conducted. To that end, we have been supporting and closely following progress on the Performing Arts Aerosol Study led by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Maryland. The second round of preliminary results of that study related to singing were released today.
These latest findings focus on how singing relates to the distribution of aerosols, a potential mechanism for spreading the COVID-19 virus, and, most importantly, how to mitigate those effects. We know how crucial this data is to our field, and we advise the singing community to turn to this and other evidence-based scientific research to inform scenario planning for the months ahead.
While these findings are preliminary and have not yet been peer-reviewed, these key takeaways can help inform leaders’ decision-making going forward:
Our organizations will present a joint Q&A-style webinar with study researchers on Monday, August 10 at 5:00 pm ET, livestreamed on the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) YouTube channel.
Fortunately, our field is full of resilient and resourceful leaders. In the face of great uncertainty, leaders of singing communities have made enormous adaptations to our rehearsal, assessment, performance, teaching, and community-building. As the field’s leadership service organizations, we advocate a measured and cautious approach to resuming in-person singing in order to contribute to good health and the healing of our communities. We also remain positive, determined advocates for one another, our singers, and our field, in hopeful anticipation that we will soon have full access to the music-making that inspires and sustains us.
Catherine Dehoney, President and CEO, Chorus America
Allen Henderson, Executive Director, National Association of Teachers of Singing
Marty Monson, CEO, Barbershop Harmony Society
Tim Sharp, CEO, American Choral Directors Association
Performing Arts Aerosol Study
Please visit the main study website for full information, including an FAQ. These preliminary results, which have not been peer reviewed, are to be used strictly for general consideration and will be updated as new information becomes available. The study’s final results are expected in late November/early December.
The University of Colorado Boulder has also developed a pilot risk assessment tool for aerosol transmission to help decision-makers estimate the infection risk for a number of basic situations such as college classrooms, choirs, and being outdoors.
Additional Resource Links
Georgia Tech Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool
Know Your Own Tolerance for Risk
CDC Considerations for Events and Gatherings
Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide
University of Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music COVID Research
Western ACDA Division paper
ACDA Covid Resources
Chorus America Covid Resources
Barbershop Harmony Society Covid Resources
NATS Covid Resources