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Autumn Singers

Have you noticed how the robins are singing their autumn song along with many migrating birds?  Perhaps we are not having to defend our territory like the birds but we are joining in the chorus to lift our spirits.  We are so happy to be back to in person rehearsals and working towards a beautiful programme for this November.

Click to view printable poster or download programme leaflet

The choir have been wonderfully adaptable and positive in negotiating the new norms.  The result has been a shift in the way we used to operate, necessity being the mother of invention, as we try to adhere to pandemic guidelines and safety considerations.  Rather than weekly whole choir rehearsals we have spent the first few weeks  holding sectional rehearsals in our usual hall and in Abbeystrewry church.  Once a month we have met in the huge church in Drimoleague thanks to the kindness of Father Liam.

The best laid plans sometimes go awry and our first attempt to meet as whole choir did just that.  When we arrived at All Saints’, Drimoleague, we were met with a car park full of vans and cars belonging to a Channel 4 filming operation.   We tentatively poked our heads round the church to find that it was full of silent worshippers – no room at the inn!  Happily we found an alternative venue at very short notice.

Here is a comment on our first rehearsal of the term;

Belated thanks for a marvellous start to the Real Live rehearsals.
Dramatic, but weren’t we lucky to have Debbie’s local knowledge? Who would have thought Drimoleague to be so packed with events: a film set, a vigil AND the WCCS!
That first note when we all sang together was so moving and memorable: a confirmation of the joy of making music together and surely a sign that the Zooms were worthwhile. It was great to have others back with us again, a real encouragement and support in our new term. But most of all,  THANK YOU for your work, your patience and your choice of music.

From the 22nd October it seems that the guidelines are being relaxed further.  This means we will go ahead with our performances in November, although audiences may still be restricted in number.  Our programme has been designed as a kind of gathering or opportunity to get together to reflect on all that has been happening for us; for our families, friends and communities, in the past 20 months.  Much of the music is unaccompanied – the naked voice singing in sweet harmony seems a fitting choice for this event.  Words will also be offered in the form of readings and in a candle lighting ceremony which will give a time for reflection.

We would like to thank All Saints’ Drimoleague and St Fachtna’s Rosscarbery for their generosity in hosting these performances.

I’ll finish this blog by sharing some words by the wonderful jazz pianist Keith Jarrett:

Only the song through the land

Hallows and heals.


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