According Plano Civic Chorus Board of Directors Marketing Chair Mandie McCurdie,
“Founded in 1973, Plano Civic Chorus has been a presence in the arts community of North Texas for almost 50 years. The organization has persevered and even thrived amidst the challenges presented throughout the last half-century, but like the rest of the world, PCC was not prepared for the coronavirus pandemic and how it would affect our organization. But in true Texas grit fashion, we adapted and made the most of the situation.
“During the first few months of the shutdown, a series of past performances were compiled and shared with our patrons. Called ‘Keep the Connection,’ these virtual concerts were intended as a way to stay engaged with our audiences, while we waited-out the shutdown. We felt it was vital to remain connected to our audiences throughout the pandemic, and we stayed engaged with them through social media and newsletters.
“When many months had passed and we realized the global impact of this virus, Artistic Director Ralph Stannard and Board of Directors felt strongly that if there was a way to safely perform, we wanted to do it. We started by finding a venue that would allow us to use their space while adhering to strict COVID protocols, including a reduced choir size of 24 members. We then rehearsed and recorded songs that were to be performed at our cancelled March 2020 concert, and released those on YouTube and social media. Finding that to be successful, we then launched a modified concert series and performed four concerts (via live-stream as well as a small in-person audience) throughout 2020-2021. Although the entire choir was not able to perform due to safety protocols, being able to perform and stay engaged with our community was important to the financial health of the organization.
“For a choir that has never live-streamed before, the technological learning curve was intense, but vital in order to reach our audiences during the pandemic. Although our in-person audiences were small, because of our live-streams, we were able to reach a broader audience than ever before; with viewers watching across the country and even beyond its borders in Canada and the Virgin Islands. These live-streams were a considerable added expense; however, the donations received from our 2020 North Texas Giving Day campaign made it possible.
“With North Texas Giving Day being our only fundraising event, the additional North Texas Giving Tuesday NOW Day sponsored by the Communities Foundation last May was a much-needed boost to help offset Spring ticket sales losses. Additionally, the generous donations we received form our North Texas Giving Day campaign last year were instrumental in not only allowing us to continue performing, but it gave us a boost of hope and confidence in our future as an organization. Regardless of the challenges that lay ahead of us, with the support of our friends, community, and gracious donors, we have hope that we will be able to keep the music alive in our community for years to come.”
* Photo credit: Mandie McMurdie ** Graphic provided by Plano Civic Chorus *** Photo credit: Larry Petterborg **** Photo credit: Mike Lancaster
In 12 years, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $375 million into the North Texas community. In 2020, more than $58.8 million was raised through more than 106,000 donors benefiting over 3,200 area nonprofits.