Bloomington Chamber Singers. Courtesy photo

Editor’s note: The following is a press release from Bloomington Chamber Singers. Bloom has republished it here with minor edits for style and clarity.

For over fifty years, Bloomington Chamber Singers has shared holiday music with the Bloomington community as part of its ongoing mission to provide excellence in performance, education, and community engagement. Favorite seasonal activities have included singing at the Festival of Lights and the Holiday Market, caroling at area retirement facilities, and the annual Messiah Sing-Along, attended each year by hundreds of area singers.

This year, the restraints of the pandemic have challenged the group to find new ways to brighten the holiday season. In collaboration with other local choirs and musicians, BCS is proud to present an online holiday playlist.

Songs of Comfort and Joy is a free playlist of musical videos, a virtual holiday card to the Bloomington community from area choirs and musicians.

Musical offerings include carols and songs performed by BCS members along with contributions from local ensembles and organizations. Performers include: Quarryland Men’s Chorus, The Global Warblers, the Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble, Lady Lucks, Trinity Episcopal Choir, Faith Lutheran Choir, IU Trombone Choir, Southern Indiana Wind Ensemble, Bloomingsongs, and the St. Thomas Lutheran Church Choir. A virtual rendition of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus (from Messiah) rounds out the offerings with traditional seasonal flair.

Videos of the songs and carols from BCS members have been arranged under the guidance of Musical Director Dr. Gerald Sousa. Other area groups have prepared their own holiday offerings. Claire Tafoya, a member of the BCS Board of Directors, coordinated the project.

“This has been a labor of love for BCS,” Tafoya says. “We are truly thankful for the collaboration of the Bloomington musical community that partnered with us, and for our local sponsors. We hope this music brings as much joy to listeners as it did to us in the creative, design, and recording processes. Virtual Hallelujah choruses are available in many places, but we hope you will especially enjoy singing along with our hometown version!”

The holiday playlist is available now.