On Friday May 1st, the Department of Health offered a map on possible easing measures for the coming months. In doing so, an exit strategy was outlined in different phases, to slowly restart public and social life.
After thoroughly examining the possible relaxations, Sing Ireland believes that a restart of group singing and choral rehearsals, choral events, and other choral meetings is not possible yet, and certainly not until 10th August at the earliest. What the measures for the next phases will look like depends on the further evolution of the pandemic and can therefore not be predicted.
Experts have not yet given a clear answer to the question of whether making music together entails greater risks. It is unclear what differences there are between group music-making and regular meetings of groups of people. The research into this is ongoing.
What is being considered
In our sector, social distancing is not easy to organise given limitations on size of rehearsal spaces. Several generations often come together and so a risk of contamination may be inherent in singing given that more ‘at risk’ individuals would potentially take part.
The health of singers/choristers, conductors and accompanists, and their families, must always take precedence and so, Sing Ireland advises that all rehearsals, events and other meetings are cancelled until at least the 10th of August and probably until the end of August. We hope, with you, that some restart of our sector is possible from September 2020. Sing Ireland will be reviewing best practice internationally and staying in touch with the sector on developments.
Ideas, Tools & Resources
Sing Ireland is compiling examples from around the world and is updating a page on our website on this regularly. Please visit that page HERE.
The European Choral Association- Europa Cantat (which Sing Ireland and its members are a member of) have put together a document looking at 'How the Choral World Deals with Covid 19'. The current worldwide Covid-19 crisis has disrupted the lives of people almost everywhere, and the choral world has also been affected heavily in most countries. However, the situation is not the same everywhere. They are closely following the developments and listening to the needs and wishes of the sector and trying to respond to questions. As the European association, they are trying to find examples of good practice and spread them within the network to avoid each national choral association / each conductor or choir manager starting from scratch on compiling information.
The full document can be found HERE
Sing Ireland is Working on Your Behalf
To date we have been running projects online and will continue to do so during the summer months. Please look out for information on this on our website and social media channels.
We are advocating and consulting with colleagues in the music sector in Ireland to see what recommendations and best practice might be for the sector.
In the meantime, Sing Ireland is collaborating with other arts and cultural organisations, the Arts Council, and others to further clarify the Covid-19 measures and recommendations/precautions within the entire cultural sector. In the short term, in consultation with the above partners a restart plan is being examined specifically for the amateur and community arts.
Sing Ireland will, of course, keep you informed of developments.
With our previously issued survey, we want to map out the impact on choral activities in Ireland, both on an artistic, social and business level. The results enable us as a sector to enter into a dialogue with the government. Your contribution makes a significant difference in the analysis, so we would like to invite you to participate. You can still contribute to that MORE INFO HERE.