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  • Maren Van Nostrand

Into the Light: Community Creativity at Onset of Covid

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

Soundfalls held a virtual webinar, “Into the Light,” on March 28, 2020. Though accustomed to meeting in person, new and long-standing Soundfalls participants joined in from across the Snoqualmie Valley and other parts of the U.S. to experience this much-needed outlet for creativity within Soundfalls’ trademark supportive environment. Not only had it been a long and dark winter with flooding and scary politics, but it was a poignant time in history as the quarantine of the Covid-19 pandemic was still so very new and mysterious, and so were the technicalities of online broadcasting! Nevertheless, we persevered!

Thoughts from circle participants:

“Thanks for putting the event together, and both you & Byron [and Blaire] for hosting it. A light in the darkness of the present pandemic.”

~ Alethea Myers

“What a fine thing, bringing people together to share their talents in an evening together. I look forward to next month. Green blessings.”

~ EagleSong Gardener

“Thanks so much for hosting the event tonight. We are so fortunate to have a caring community that values this kind of sharing, as well as folks like you to instigate.”

~ Marc Hoffman

“We try our best, and really love the encouragement. You are special to us.”

~ Kate and Pat Brougham

“A hearty round of thanks for making it all happen.”

~ George Seccombe

What’s the background? How did we all meet? What’s it all about? Last fall, Maren Van Nostrand organized Big Reunion Circles that brought together participants from 20 years of Soundfalls’ studio recitals, workshops, big shows, writers groups, and song circles. The result? Heartwarming and magical evenings! For more about those, see Circling Back Together. And for more about Soundfalls in general, see How it All Began: Giving Voice and Meaning to Community.

“I thoroughly enjoyed being back in the loft with you, Byron, and the whole Soundfalls legacy and community. We could all feel the warmth in the room and yes, savored it then and look forward to next time. Take care and thanks for making Saturday night happen!”

~ Jules Hughes, Lee Arts Foundation, Millers, Carnation, WA

“We both enjoyed ourselves very much. I can’t think of any other event that I have been to that was like it. Unique! And affirming of every person’s character, personality and talent.”

~ Shirley Doolittle-Egerdahl

“We feel so thankful to be involved.”

~ Denny Redman

The timing for these gatherings seemed so very right as friends and community members longed for deeper ways to connect with each other--beyond mainstream politics and weather. Sharing songs, stories, memories, and thoughts in traditional circle format, met peoples’ needs very directly, and provided new and multi-dimensional fulfillment.

Given the positive feedback, we scheduled three more big circles for spring, one in each of the months of March, April and May. As the first gathering date approached, we became increasingly doubtful we’d be able to meet in person. Reports surfaced that group singing was too risky in the midst of Covid-19. Schools and businesses closed and we knew there would be no chance of holding our events in person, so we went online and had a wonderful time!

Stay tuned for more unforgettable community moments with Soundfalls!

Maren Van Nostrand, Host, Director, Producer

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