On Tuesday evening, June 22, 2021, the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society choristers, artistic team, and board of directors, met in person for the first time since Covid-19 stopped the world and shuttered all live performances. It was a special gathering in more ways than one. In addition to the excitement of seeing friends and fellow musicians after a year of seclusion, the single item on the agenda was to discuss and vote on rebranding the organization.
The members of the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society have been discussing the issue of changing their name for almost four years. Despite performing stellar and stirring choral performances in the area for 50 years, community awareness of the group remained stagnant. When sharing with friends, family, and acquaintances about the next scheduled performance, choristers would often hear the following or similar questions. “Who and what is the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society? What do you do? Do you give speeches? What does oratorio mean? I have been living in Burnt Hills my whole life and never heard about you. Why is that? You guys are amazing.”
To ensure that the chorus will survive for another 50 years, the organization realized it was time to change. It was time to shed a name that sounded like some sort of secret society and adopt a name that was fresh and friendly. Many names were suggested, considered, liked, disliked, tried on, and spoken out loud. A few favorites had to be eliminated because they were already taken. Eventually one name rose to the top of the list and just seemed to fit. Enter center stage > SARATOGA VOICES. Short, simple, not pretentious. The name tells what they do and where they do it.
It is not easy changing your name. Those who have done so know firsthand the legal steps involved. And then there are those dear to you whom have become comfortable with the old name and do not understand why things must change. It did not happen overnight but eventually members of the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society understood that to continue to do that which they love to do more than anything else – SING – it was time to change. So, on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, almost unanimously, the members of the Burnt Hills Oratorio Society voted to become members of SARATOGA VOICES – same people with new name and new horizons.