Choir of Ages is virtually
COVID-19, and all the
restrictions it has brought, has seen many
Intergenerational projects come to a halt. However,
this has not stopped Donegal County Council’s Choir
of Ages 'Ceol le Chéile' which has always been about
bringing young and older people together to build
relationships and socially participate in something
Ceol le Chéile’s last day of rehearsal was the 6th
of March 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 ways for the choir engagement
Mairead Cranley, Donegal Age Friendly Programme
Co-ordinator 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.
Kathleen Bonner, Choir Coordinator, 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
Ceol le Chéile
perform Bob Marley classic 'Three little Birds'.
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 and 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? 60% of the
choir members had not used it.
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 one time.
This huge challenge for the older people with
limited technical ability was soon forgotten and the
excitement of seeing their friends was overwhelming
Mairead continued by saying: "Since then and in 4
weeks 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 31 May, leading the way at 11am
for the Bealtaine Dusk Virtual Home Chorus which was
followed by other choirs performing throughout the