In the midst of rehearsals for the annual concerts in the spring of 2020, the Whidbey Community Chorus was forced to cancel its popular free concerts due to the coronavirus pandemic. At that time, the Chorus hoped to regroup for their annual December Christmas concerts, but unfortunately those too had to be canceled.
For a small community arts organization that relies on donations given at the free concerts to pay its expenses, the loss of a whole year of programming could have been devastating. Recognizing the need, the Washington State Arts Commission provided a grant with funds from both the state government and from the National Endowment for the Arts to help pay expenses to allow the Whidbey Community Chorus to continue.
The Whidbey Community Chorus typically presents four free concerts in Oak Harbor — two in the spring and two in December. The 90-member chorus is comprised of people of all ages who share a love of singing, from high school students to senior citizens.
The songs are accompanied by a variety of local musicians, including piano, flute, violin, drums and specialty instruments such as banjo. An audience of 350-400 community members enjoys the free concert each performance.
Community Chorus Director Darren McCoy is also the choral director at Oak Harbor High School.
In accordance with recent changes in COVID-19 restrictions, the Whidbey Community Chorus is currently making plans to once again safely provide choral music in time for the holidays this December.