Donegal County Council's choir of ages has managed to continue to hit high notes during Covid 19 bringing us a wonderful version of 'Three little Birds' by Bob Marley.
The objective of the choir is to bring young and older people together and build relationships. People also enjoy the social aspect of the choir.
Ceol le Chéile’s last day of rehearsal was March 6 and since then many members have being self-isolating at home.
To keep the social aspect of the choir going, the Donegal Age Friendly Programme sought out different manners for the choir engagement to continue.
Donegal Age Friendly Programme Co-ordinator, Mairead Cranley said: "Initially, Veronica McCarron, Choral Conductor prepared recorded lessons and sent them out to choir members and although the members enjoyed getting the lessons, it wasn’t quite the same as they were not able to see each other. It was made possible for the choir members to see each other by rehearsing online via zoom.’
As many of the older people didn’t have access to a laptop or smart phone it was not an easy task.
Choir Coordinator, Kathleen Bonner, established how many people had the necessary equipment and for those who hadn’t, the Donegal Education Training Board (ETB), through the Age Friendly Alliance, kindly gave choir members a lend off several laptops.
Many members had never turned a computer or laptop on before or had never been on Zoom so some technical guidance was arranged and again through the Age Friendly Alliance, the Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP) were delighted to provide two IT supports, Denis Kelly and Sinead McDaid.
Mairead said:"A poll was carried out on the choir asking had they ever used zoom before this? Sixty percent of the choir members had not used it. This is yet another challenge they have conquered and again the have embraced it and it’s helping them get through the Covid Pandemic.
It has been 4 weeks now since the choir members were introduced to rehearsals virtually and there has been up to 75 rehearsing online at the same time.
Since then the choir has worked hard and created a video singing the Bob Marley classic “Three little Birds”. Their video got its national and international premier on Sunday May 31, leading the way at 11am for the Bealtaine Dusk Virtual Home Chorus which was followed by other choirs performing throughout the day.
Mairead said a special thank you to Veronica McCarron Choral Director, Kathleen Bonner, Choir Coordinator, Donegal County Council, Catherine Friel in Donegal ETB for providing laptops and Inishowen Development Partnership (IDP) for providing Denis Kelly and Sinead McDaid for Technical Guidance. Denis Kelly also produced the video.
"This project wouldn’t have happened without you all. Thank you," she said.
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