Oh it was such a great start to 2020. We were all enjoying the wonderful program Sharon had prepared for us and were looking forward to our concerts ahead, but unfortunately Covid-19 had other plans for our year. It’s a serious situation and it demanded that we take it seriously. And so it was that the committee decided to put a proposal to our members last Wednesday, March 11 to suspend rehearsals and performances for the foreseeable future. The vote was overwhelmingly in favour. It is sad, a bit surreal and, we think, the first time this has happened in our 35 (?) year history but it was the sensible and safe thing to do.
I still have videos to
share, though, here and on our social media channels and we will keep you
informed of any developments. Meanwhile, keep singing! At home, in the shower,
on the hilltops! Singing is so good for your mental and physical health and the
main thing we can do at the moment is keep ourselves as healthy and strong as
possible to fight any infections. Boost that immune system, eat healthy, drink
water, get plenty of sleep and exercise and SING!
There’s a nervous excitement in the air as our Christmas Gala Concert approaches. Rehearsals started back in September and the time really does seem to have flown but on Sunday we will be back in St. John’s, Castle Street, Tralee with world-class soprano Miriam Murphy, and a fantastic selection of Christmas music. We will be accompanied by Ian Sexton on piano and Susan Motherway on flute and we can’t wait to see you all there.
For a taste of what you can expect, here’s our performance from earlier this year of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, which we will be performing on Sunday.
Organised by Sing Ireland in association with Mental Health Ireland, the aim is to encourage newcomers to group singing and to remind everyone that singing contributes to physical & mental health and well-being. With studies showing that singing as part of a group can provide a wide range of wellness and mental health benefits, such as improving breathing, posture and muscle tension as well as lessening stress and anxiety, now is the time to get involved! Kerry Choral Union will be hosting an open rehearsal this Wednesday 9th October in Collis Sandes House at 7:30 pm. Why not come along and hear us rehearse. You can join in if you like or not if you prefer – no pressure! It’s always good to sing!
That first breath that a band or choir or orchestra takes together, a breath filled with focus, intention and emotion, a breath unified for no other reason than to make something beautiful together … there is simply no better way to demonstrate the core of who we are, and the best in all of us.
I came across this quote the other day from Eric Whitacre (he of the gorgeous Seal Lullaby and so much more) and it perfectly expresses that moment, the deep breath before the notes are formed, a moment full of possibility, before we all dive into the music together. It is a wonderful thing to experience and you can too. Our first night of rehearsals is next Wednesday, September 4th and new members are always welcome. There will be tea and refreshments so we can all catch up after the summer in style and to allow Sharon time to take new members through a few scales. Practice is at 7:30 p.m. (but if you’re new, come a little earlier, say 15 to 10 minutes) in Collis Sandes House as usual.
On April 17 last, we had the great pleasure of having a German youth choir, Chorjugend Grevenbrück e. V. from Sauerland in Germany, perform for us in Collis Sandes House. Many thanks to Bryan Carr for arranging this and for sending on this Radio Kerry piece recorded that evening. The performance by these young singers was simply excellent, as you can hear from the audio. We were all hugely impressed, both with their talent and with the work they had clearly put in. Well done to everyone involved!
As a thank you, we sang for them one of the songs that we will be singing in our spring concert for Recovery Haven this Sunday, and Radio Kerry were very kind to include it in their feature. That concert is on at 7:30 pm tomorrow, Sunday, April 28 in Our Lady and St Brendan’s Church, Tralee, for anyone who fancies getting out of the house now that the storm has well and truly passed. It’s for a great cause and tickets (€10) will be available on the door.