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Singing in times of Covid-19

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Risks around singing and gathering in large groups have had a huge impact on choirs in London. However, not wanting to miss a single chance to catch up and sing together, Còisir Lunnainn went online with our first Zoom rehearsal on Tuesday 24 March 2020.

Although of course we can't wait to sing together again in person, a silver lining of our online rehearsals has been the ability to connect with past and present members of Còisir Lunnainn from all over the globe. We might be 130 years old this year, but we're still young at heart and have embraced our online sessions! Even when we're back in the same room together, we will continue to provide the opportunity to join our rehearsals online, so that we don't miss the wonderful members of the choir who have moved away from London.


"Chì mi a-nochd sibh air Zoom!"

- "See you tonight on Zoom" was not a phrase often said in Gaelic before 2020


So how does a Zoom rehearsal work?

We all log in from the comfort of our own homes. Using our laptops works best as it allows us to see everyone on our screen and makes muting and unmuting a lot easier! We start with warm ups and vocal technique, before moving on to learning words and music for new songs. Although we sing in four parts, Zoom doesn't allow us to do this together, so different members of the choir volunteer to sing unmuted, while everyone else sings along at home.

Our first rehearsals included different break out rooms for rehearsing as a section, but we generally tend to like staying together in the same 'room' because it's fun to sing along to other parts while we learn!

Each week, we learn a new song (in unison) from CEÒL NAM BEANN, The Ceilidh Song-Book, fondly known as the little yellow book. This is a new tradition in the choir, which began not long after lockdown did! Choir members are encouraged (but never forced!) to adopt a song and teach it to the rest of the choir, which has become a beautiful new way to share music together, no matter where we are.

We always finish with Soraidh Leibh (or Oidhche mhath leibh) as all Gaelic choirs do!

Click here for some useful phrases for your next Zoom rehearsal!

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