CINCINNATI — When 2020 began, MUSE, the all-women choir in Cincinnati, planned to celebrate a milestone in American history with a series of in-person concerts.
Then the coronavirus pandemic happened.
"We were preparing for this momentous anniversary, being the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in the United States," said Charmaine Moore Kitsinis, assistant director of MUSE. "We were already planning a program using music for celebrating the occasion."
March's social distancing orders forced Moore Kitsinis and her fellow choir members to suddenly change gears, according to Jillian Harrison-Jones, MUSE's music director.
"We started rehearsing on Zoom mid-March and have been rehearsing ever since," Harrison-Jones said.
Harrison-Jones also located an Atlanta, Georgia-based sound and video engineer to help the group mix and release short 10- to15-minute performances online beginning in late spring.
"We chose music that was a cappella, mostly because that was going to be a whole lot easier to produce," Moore Kitsinis said.
MUSE has produced four performances, which people can view for free on MUSE's website or YouTube channel.
Each video in the series celebrates women's right to vote and encourages young people to vote during this year's general election.
"We originally had this fall shaped up to be individual popup concerts that would help to rally the vote," Harrison-Jones said. "The format that we're taking now is similar to what we planned to do. We just had to switch how we did it."
MUSE's spring concert series was originally supposed to culminate with a performance at Memorial Hall in Over-the-Rhine.
Now it will do so with a free 50-minute online streaming performance that starts at 7 p.m. Sunday.
"We're treating it as a rally, really, that sort of takes everything that we've done, puts it all together and puts it out into the world," Harrison-Jones said.
She said she hopes Sunday's online concert inspires young people who might not have voted yet to do so.
"Think about what you want to get out of your community, what you want to get out of your state and what you want to see nationally happen," Harrison-Jones said.
Learn more about MUSE's Sunday concert by visiting www.musechoir.org.