The 2019 Christmas Concert was the last one performed by the Hilton Head Choral Society and orchestra. It is hoped that the next concert will be Christmas 2020. COURTESY HILTON HEAD CHORAL SOCIETY

As COVID-19 shut down schools, restaurants and life in general, members of the Hilton Head Choral Society were disappointed that their spring concert would be canceled.

Then, the Memorial Day concert fell by the wayside.

Now, the next concert is scheduled for Dec. 4 – with a great deal of hope that it will actually be held. Indeed, the theme for the next season, the organization’s 45th, is “A Season of Hope.”

In spite of the past five months of inactivity, director Tim Reynolds said, “There’s always hope, you know. Without that, why would you get up in the morning?”

In addition, “We hope everyone is healthy, we hope as an ensemble we can get together and practice and see each other,” he continued. “And of course we hope to be able to perform.”

Reynolds, celebrating his 20th season as conductor of the 100-member choral group, and the board of directors met earlier this summer and created plan for the next season, incorporating flexibility, allowing for changes as needed.

While no one can be certain that the December concert, “The Sounds of Christmas,” will happen, Reynolds said, “We’ve said were going to err on the side of cautious optimism.”

The organization has established “trigger” dates for each scheduled event in the new season, meaning the date when the final decision will be made to move forward or not.

For instance, the trigger date for the Dec. 4 concert is Oct. 1. If the board believes it would not be safe and reasonable to move forward, the concert will be canceled by Oct. 1.

“That way, people will know how to plan,” Reynolds said. “I didn’t feel like I could ask orchestra personnel to sign contracts for the season because we don’t know what the season looks like. I didn’t want them to commit dates and then turn down work for those dates and then those dates not happen.”

If things go as hoped, the chorus and musicians will have eight weeks to rehearse, which is “a little on the short side,” Reynolds said. “Normally we work on a 10- to 12-week window” for rehearsals.

For the time being, Reynolds is looking forward to a December performance. It will be Choral Society’s first since last Christmas.

However, because of the level of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Reynolds said, “That could all change next Tuesday.”

For more information, updates and potential tickets, visit hiltonheadchoralsociety.org.