The event-runner, Tracie Ashley, invites all musicians to join this virtual ensemble; the more, the merrier!

By Laura Tamayo

With all the chaos that seems to never stop in the world right now, community projects that boost morale are more welcomed than ever before.

Tracie Ashley, a Lithia resident and pastor at Grace Community United Methodist Church (GCUMC), has taken on an event that is a perfect example. She recently came up with the idea for a virtual choir, held by her church, that will take place in late August or early September.

This bright notion was inspired by similar proceedings being undergone by other churches and organizations around the country due to the quarantine.

“During COVID, many kinds of virtual choirs have popped up. Once I saw them, I couldn’t help but think it would be good for our community too,” said Ashley.

The online ensemble is open to all musicians of all ages that miss playing their instrument or miss utilizing their singing voice and want to join in. Ashley hopes that this will help bring a wider demographic together for a little escape from the outside reality.

The only criteria to be a part of the choir is residing in the general Lithia area, simply to avoid stretching GCUMC too thin.

According to Ashley, the songs that are going to be played are to be determined but she stresses that they will have an uplifting tone in order to maximize rise in community spirit.

“Music has a beautiful way of reminding us all that we need each other and that we belong to one another. Songs will be chosen to lift up that message of hope and unity,” she explained.

Currently, the chorus is in the planning session and in August, GCUMC will send out links for people to sign up to participate. From there, they will be given instructions on how to record themselves and return that recording to be put together into the choir format.

Although this may sound complicated, Ashley stated that it is much easier than it sounds and any participant can even complete their recording from their phone, if necessary.

If you’re interested in this simple way to alleviate stress, whether it be COVID-19-related or not, you can find more information on Ashley’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/tsashley/ or email her at tracie@mygraceumc.com.