Dawn Chorus – Ireland in Harmony, Together while Apart
Sing Ireland is working with Creative Aging International, RTÉ, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin City Council Culture Company and others on a voluntary creative response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Imagine a morning where we can come together by the water to sing in the new day and the new dawn when movement restrictions have been lifted enough to make this possible. Imagine bringing your community together while apart towards this day.
Dawn Chorus is a nationwide invitation to be connected while apart through learning and exploring songs. We aim to help ease the national mood with song and spread the positive effects of group singing – either through formal choral singing or a casual singsong. These events follow public health guidelines at all times and are designed to take place online, down a phone line or with members of your own household. We hope you will help share these benefits with your wider community in this way. At the same time, we are making an extra effort to connect with isolated citizens through ALONE and Age & Opportunity.
The Dawn Chorus idea is a simple one: people come together, select songs, rehearse then sing together at dawn near water. The format is flexible where the scale, choice of song, duration and location can all be adapted to available local assets.
Obviously the Covid-19 crisis brings challenges to the Dawn Chorus. We’ve planned accordingly to allow for the phases of isolation and potential connection.
As restrictions ease (ensuring that you are following the most up to date HSE guidelines around gatherings at all times), we can gather at first in small, local groups, to explore tunes that bring us comfort and joy, to rehearse and sing to each other. You might rehearse with close family or friends, a caregiver, or someone local who needs care, or a couple or single person living alone. Eventually a day will come when we all gather together again at water by dawn and welcome in a new day with song.
1. Get involved
- Get your group together – friends, family, online groups, choirs, community groups
- Get the song sheets and lyrics from links from our downloads at the bottom of this page.
- Debate and decide on what other songs you want to sing
- Spread the word that you are taking part and that all are welcome. Use #DawnChorusIreland to get the word out. Post about it on your website, your social media pages, in your local shop. Let people know that you are rehearsing together, apart, and that all are welcome to join in. A little connection in these isolating days means a lot.
- If you are in Dublin register your choir or group on culturenearyou.ie – drop a pin on the map where you are with contact details or social media page so you can be found by people near you who are looking to join in but who have no one to sing with.
2. Rehearse at home
- Learn online, over the phone or from songs available through www.DawnChorus.ie
- Sing along with your own group or choir, invite family, friends, your neighbours to join in but always adhering to social distancing Covid-19 guidelines!
- Join in an online class or set up your own
- In Phases 2 and more so in Phase 3, you can start to rehearse and sing together in small groups.
- What you sing is up to you. We have made a few suggestions to get us all started. Lyrics and arrangements are on www.DawnChorus.ie or Singireland.ie
- Try new ways to sing, get creative and compose something new to share.
3. Perform together
- When we move into Phase 4, restrictions ease we can gather locally, in small groups, to discuss the tunes that bring us comfort and joy, to rehearse and to sing to each other.
- During Phase 5 – when large gatherings are deemed to be safe again and the restrictions ease further, we can gather locally, the call will go out and the country will come together to sing at the waters edge around the country. We will welcome in the new day with song. Decide where and when this is right for your group and what you will be singing.
- We’ll send out word through social and the website when Phase 5 is announced and we are Good to Go!
Here’s what you can do now:
- Sing! – the lyrics and the musical arrangements for the songs we suggested to get us started are on SingIreland.ie or www.DawnChorus.ie We have also rehearsal audio tracks and videos available on these sites.
- We’ll share one new song each week but are starting off with two that most of us know: Óró, sé do bheatha bhaile and The Parting Glass
- If you can join together online to rehearse and connect for fun. Keep an eye on our facebook page or on your own groups pages as more songs and materials come available
- Organise your own local Dawn Chorus, rehearse together as restrictions eases
To hear the tune or sing along to the accompaniment of our suggested songs, please visit our website: www.DawnChorus.ie You will find everything, including the sheet music there for rehearsals, and you can also visit our facebook page: Facebook.com/DawnChorusIreland
Use #DawnChorusIreland when you are posting about your own group, songs, rehearsals, performances. We would love to see how everyone is getting along and spreading the word!
For more information see: www.DawnChorus.ie or www.SingIreland.ie Follow #dawnchorus for more information on twitter or follow us on facebook.com/DawnChorusIreland
Bealtaine is building to an online experience (Dawn&Dusk Chorus) this year as, due to social distancing guidelines, the event in May won’t be in person. Together with Bealtaine, we are encouraging the Bealtaine participants to invite others into their groups and lead their communities in this longer endeavour as lockdown eases and singing together becomes possible again. As Bealtaine groups know singing is a powerful carrier of hope and connection within communities – after all they've been doing this for years!
Time to put air in our lungs.
Melody in our ears.
Song in our hearts.
Ireland in harmony, Together while apart.
Óró Sé Do Bheatha Bhaile Sheet Music and Guide Tracks
'New Dublin Voices have generously put together a 'live' performance of the piece. Each voice was recorded by the singers separately and in isolation and has been mixed together during these times when singers can't come together.'