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Choir-antine: Running a world-renowned choir from a living room


These are strange times we are living in.

While thousands have found themselves without employment overnight - we are being told that ‘those who can work from home – should work from home.’

While many have swapped the office for a laptop for the duration of the lockdown – running a world-renowned choir from your boxroom seems a step too far. But not so.

Orla Gargan, Musical Director of the Dublin Gospel Choir is now running rehearsals for the 50-strong choir from her dining-room table in Knocklyon. The group has even recorded a cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Lean on Me’ over the video-conferencing app Zoom.

“We just wanted to find a way to keep working together, keep making music," says Orla.

“Many of our members are professional singers and they’ve seen their gigs canceled for the foreseeable future”.

“It’s great from a musical point of view, keeping our voices strong, running warmups, even choreography,” she says. “But it’s more than that, it’s the social interaction during isolation that’s amazing. Our rehearsal really is the highlight of my week at the moment.

Word has spread among the choir’s former members and they’ve had ‘dial-ins’ from the USA, Korea, Barcelona, Croatia and Canada.

The level of interest from ex-singers has prompted Orla o open up the rehearsal this weekend to the general public.

“We recorded the song, partly as a project for us. To see if we could. But also in the hope that it might cheer people up. The message is great, we are all in this together. We’re separated but together. “

“We’re also inviting people who would like to join us for a rehearsal to log in this weekend. If you go to our Facebook page we’ll have all the details, but it’s just a chance to escape the isolation and join us for a sing-song, "says Orla. “We’re calling our Choir-inteen.”

For more information on the Dublin Gospel Choir’s ‘Choir-inteen’ visit their Facebook page.

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