One Voice Charlotte (OVC) announced the launch of Ossia, their new podcast, in mid-March. Produced by OVC’s Artistic Director, Cory Davis, Ossia was conceptualized by OVC Board Member Lis Malone in August 2020. She is currently serving as an advisor and in a community outreach capacity.
The title of the podcast comes from the word “ossia,” a musical term that means (according to Merriam Webster) an alternate passage that can be played instead of the original; and in this case, something that can be fun and interesting.
The podcast will involve singing, interviews and conversations about the LGBTQ community, which came about as a way to expand the inclusivity of OVC.
Says Malone: “I was in the process of working with Cory Davis and the One Voice Board of Directors in making their upcoming spring performance more accessible to the blind and low-vision community — and then COVID shut everything down.
“That summer I had been contracted by an organization to produce and cohost their podcast series to replace their in-person conference, which had also been cancelled during the pandemic, and I knew that an initiative of that nature would be a perfect platform for One Voice Chorus to help fill the void of their live concerts. Not only could the chorus members share their own personal stories, but [they] could also partner with community organizations for show content.
“Cory’s creative ability to weave together a story and musical theme, along with his technical audio recording and editing skills are the perfect pairing to masterfully craft a polished podcast product.”
According to both Davis and Malone, the biggest obstacle that OVC has faced during COVID-19 is member participation.
“When we cancelled our March 2020 concert, we had between 65-70 singers and now we have between 10-15 regularly participating,” Davis explains. “This is primarily because singing over Zoom is not feasible, [technical] latency issues, and members have stated that all they really want is normalcy, with weekly rehearsals and live in-person performances.”
As to the future of One Voice Charlotte, Davis says, “We have had to be extremely innovative over the past year to stay alive and relevant, and to try to reimagine what it is to be a chorus who can’t sing.
“As the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel nears, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that shoulder-to-shoulder choral singing has been irrevocably changed. My hope is that all of our continued work will generally help to increase folks’ capacity for empathy and compassion toward one another, beginning with the LGBTQIA community.”
OVC has undergone major changes over the past year. They have adapted their organization to include more events with limited manpower and limited funds. As with many groups during COVID-19, OVC has struggled to maintain relevance and attendance.
Davis and Malone both emphasize that One Voice Charlotte is always accepting new singers and volunteers. The creation of Ossia has made more opportunities for those wanting to get involved in OVC, including hosting or guest starring in the podcast. OVC is also accepting those who are talented in music or video production.
If you’re interested and would like to get involved in any capacity, fill out the form at bit.ly/3sL6l4N.
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