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Singing Together, Apart

For the past few weeks, the Choral Scholars, like everyone else, have had to take a break from our normal routine. No more warm-ups, no more rehearsals, and no more performances. Yes, unfortunately, we had to cancel our spring concert, but that does not mean we stopped singing. Like everyone else, we too have had to adapt to working from home… and we have been working on something very special!

If you’ve checked out our social media recently you will have seen that we recently released a music video for our song ‘The Maid of Culmore,’ which is taken from our last album, ‘Perpetual Twilight.’ If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out at the link below. This video was produced as part of the UCD Festival, which takes place annually during the summer trimester, and this year is taking place online. This video, however, is unlike any of the others which you may have enjoyed because this video was recorded by each individual singer from the comfort and safety of their own homes! We took inspiration from all the people we have seen coming together using new technologies to share their music with the world in lockdown. It was a great experience for us to see how technology can support us in our creative endeavours. It has certainly given us lots of inspiration for future projects, so watch this space!

As a scholar recording this video was really special. We spend so much time singing together that when that was suddenly taken away it left a sizeable hole in all our lives. Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate and everyone is missing family, friends and all the comforting routines of normal life – for us that means singing together.

“Even though we are all apart we could all be connected again through making music… the experience made life feel a little more normal again, as just learning some music took my mind of what’s going on in the world.” (Alice Morgan, first year soprano)

We were delighted to be joined in this project by many of our alumni who took part in the album recording two years ago. It was fantastic to see Scholars, both past and present, coming together, from all across the country, to collaborate on a new and innovative project. We were also very lucky to be working once again with the incredibly talented Kevin Whyms, who has accompanied us on numerous occasions, including on both of our albums and at Carnegie Hall last year.

We all know that singing has often been shown to be very beneficial for mental health. So, at a time when lots of people’s health is suffering it was wonderful for us to be able to continue singing together and sharing our music even as we stay apart. As our alumna, Bláthnaid said:

“Recording a music video is an incredible experience in itself but doing it from home was even better! Of course, we can’t see each other in person but taking part in the video for ‘The Maid of Culmore’ connected us as singers through our mutual love of singing. The experience reminds us of all the incredible times we have shared together and even though times are tough right now, we will all get back to doing what we love soon.”

Find the video on our YouTube channel here:

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