Striking back at Covid-19 to hit all the right notes across the Laois generations

Musical Memories 2021 is an intergenerational song project

Leinster Express Reporter

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Leinster Express Reporter

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coronavirus covid-19

Denise Boyle and Nuala Kelly Music Generation Laois Mountmellick Hospital

Musical Memories 2021 led by Nuala Kelly, Singing and Early Years Music Specialist with Music Generation Laois (MGL) is an intergenerational song project directly responding to restrictions in Ireland due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.  

The project aims to expand and connect with a variety of voluntary organisations in Laois, and encourage more primary school children to get involved. 

 It is an exciting new chapter for the initiative which began in August 2020, re-engaging with the fantastic participants in 2020 from Abbeyleix Community Nursing Unit; St Vincent’s Community Nursing Unit Mountmellick; St Brigid’s Hospital Shaen; and children from Paddock NS, as well as a whole range of new singers, young and not so young, from across Laois.

Pupils of Rath NS and Errill NS with their classroom teachers have joined the project this year via weekly Zoom sessions, which started on January 14. MORE BELOW PICTURE.

PICTURED: Denise Boyle, Rosa Flannery, Terry Byrne, Nuala Kelly, Martin Hibbitts, Seamus Kelly at Mountmellick Hospital where the Music Memories project visited at Christmas

The initiative aims to connect people through music from their homes in these difficult times. In this changing landscape, technology has come to the fore and is a creative way for people to sing together with pre-recordings of the songs, live Zoom sessions to rehearse the songs and the possibility of a future combined performance in real-time, in line with Covid 19 regulations. 

The intergenerational aspect with local schools taking part, not only creates new ‘Musical Memories’ but introduces well-known songs to new generations.  

Nuala explained how the project works.

“Musical Memories seeks to address isolation among members of our community, by creating connections with children from local primary schools, through music. We would like to invite diverse organisations and communities across Laois to get involved including, Laois Men's Sheds; Laois Alzheimer's Society; Active Retirement groups; Laois Federation ICA; and many more,” she said. 

Musical Memories 2021 is taking inspiration from the 'Ireland's Own' magazine, which still prints songs words in its weekly edition. Musical Memories: Part 1 Irish Songs includes: Will Ye Go Lassie Go, Isle of Innisfree and I'll Tell Me Ma. Musical Memories: Part 2 Musical Theatre: The Deadwood Stage (Calamity Jane), Some Enchanted Evening (South Pacific) and Goodbye (The White Horse Inn). Musical Memories: Part 3 Popular Music: Lili Marlene, Country Roads and We'll Meet Again. 

The Musical Memories: Songsheets and Video Links 2021 can be found at https://www.musicgenerationlaois.ie/musical-memories-2021/

If you would like to take part or find out more, email Nuala Kelly at nukelly@loetb.ie or call on 087 2264752.

Music Generation Laois would like to acknowledge the funding it has received from the KEEP WELL Campaign, which is brought to you with thanks to Healthy Ireland, an initiative of the Government of Ireland with funding from the Healthy Ireland Fund and the Sláintecare Fund delivered by Pobal, administered by Laois County Council, and Healthy Ireland Laois.