FERMANAGH choir, Caritas, is preparing for a busy winter schedule where it hopes to bring some Christmas cheer to the local community and raise funds for rural charities.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, last year, the choir was forced to move its musical rehearsals and performances online via modern technology.
Group leader, Helen Hamill, admits it was a testing time for the choir when it couldn’t meet up in person to sing.
“The cold Covid world left a hole in the soul of the Caritas choir,” recalls Helen, who adds, “We had no idea that there would be so many months where we couldn’t meet and sing.
“The hard-core members managed to enjoy rehearsals on Zoom and what a learning curve that was. We produced a virtual production of ‘Midwinter’ and we had help to collate video footage to produce an online carol concert.”
Almost 10,000 people tuned in for the online concert, and Helen admits it was a very touching moment for the group to know that “the community obviously needed some carols too.”
For the first time in 18 months, the members of Caritas met up in public to practice and the choir conductor says she will never forget the feeling of seeing the group sing together.
“I sat at the piano facing all the faces I had missed and feeling so incredibly emotionally charged and I was unable to sing at times as the words and the harmonies just overwhelmed me.
“It is a gift to work with this group. To have sung harmonies and have been singing live after the craziness we have lived through was incredible.”
One member of the choir described the feeling of singing together as being “very emotional.”
“It was lovely to be back singing again and seeing friends in person. It was very emotional for everyone, especially through these difficult times.
“Our songs are so uplifting and we are grateful for being able to sing together again, united as one big family in Fermanagh House.
“We all help each other and it is nice to be back doing what we love. We can now focus on the future and we are looking forward to raising money again for local charities.”
If you would like to get in touch with Caritas, you can do so by messaging the group on Caritasekn@gmail.com.
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