CHANGE AND CHALLENGE were our constant companions over the past two(+) years. We befriended them as the pandemic raged, as best we could, with tenacity and acceptance. There was chaos and more chaos . . . we shrank to half our starting size when we made the tough decision to transition in-person rehearsals to a fully online operation. But that allowed us to survive, our core community of singers who could – stuck it out, we made it through.
What a feat that was – to transition the group of 40+ singers who stayed on (some, who until then, understood the meaning of Zoom only in its literal sense) to a full online choir in 2020. Now, we are brimming with excitement, poised to resume a fully in-person season in 2022.
Change and Challenge compelled us to reflect on who we are at our core and what we mean to our members, audience and community. VCS recently decided it was time for a new look and designed a logo that expresses what that means for us.
The new VCS logo is the creative product of designer Jen Stein. Jen is an artist, educator, creative writer, and advocate for mental wellness; VCS knows her best as a fellow soprano and member of the Board of Directors. We asked Jen to share her thoughts about the new logo, the creative design process, and what VCS means to her.
Question: We knew it was time to rethink our logo, to create an image that was reflective of what we do – sing, teach, learn – together, as a community. In what ways did you express and integrate what we do in your design?
Jen: When I designed the VCS logo, I wanted it to be about community, and for me, it began as a circular concept with a core at the center – the self. And then, making music with others is one of the most powerful connective tools I know. You’re not just producing your own sounds, you’re leaning into the person next to you, across the way, in another section. You’re hearing them as they hear you, and your voices balance. Our logo links the letters VCS together, the C represents who we are, a Choral group, front and center but just as much – we represent community. The overall effect is circular and the inter-linked letters emphasize our connection to one another.
Question: You are an advocate for mental wellness, especially for people with disabilities. Can you share a bit more about how singing, as part of a community, has helped you, personally?
Jen: Yes! As an individual that needs to manage mental illness in my daily life, I actively look for things that center me and I build strength through community. So singing is a way I help myself stay centered, whole and balanced.
Question: What does VCS mean to you, especially through the past few seasons?
Jen: I really admired how VCS showed perseverance and kept singing through the pandemic. Before the pandemic, we took for granted the ability to gather and sing as a group. I remember the first Zoom rehearsal during the pandemic – I was not the only member who had tears in her eyes. Maintaining song through adversity is a gift, and coming back together in person for a new season will be a joyful reunion made sweeter by the fact that we had been able to see one another and still make music. At VCS, we always come back to the circle, the community.