Fairlytes Singers are adapting to the challenges that keeping socially distant means for a choir. By its very nature singing is an activity that is performed en mass. It is a sociable activity that can be done by anyone, whether they have a voice or not, or whether they are fit or not. Fairlytes Choir based in Hornchurch has approx 35 members, its eldest singer is over 90, the baby is not quite 50 and average age around 65years. Some singers are widowed, others widowers, some are fighting fit and healthy, other recovering or poorly, but all are super singing troopers!
Following the outbreak of COVID19, Corona Virus, and the closing of the Queens Theatre, following the Prime Minister’s advice, the Choir which had been practising for a VE Day 75th Anniversary Show has agreed to adapt its activities.
Jane Keane, Musical Director, said:
“Like many individuals, some of our members are anxious about being lonely and isolated. To combat that we are setting up a Whatsapp Group for our existing members so that we can swap news, advice, and encouragement. We have ceased our normal rehearsals in the Church Hall, at the Church of the Eternal High Priest, Gidea Park for the time being, but some members gathered for socially distanced tea and we discussed alternate activities for our membership.”
One member, Kathy, has initiated a Remembrance Poppy Knitting project and circulated Poppy Knitting patterns which can be downloaded by anyone with a computer or laptop from the Royal British Legion Website.
Seeds were given out and an expert gardener (Michael) gave advice on growing potatoes.
Sandra has started an email photo and reminiscence group on our group email, we are swapping song suggestions and most importantly those of us who are fit and unhealthy, or unfit but well (most of us) have offered to shop and look out for others in the group who might find themselves confined to the home to prevent them catching the virus. This is Mutual Aid on a small basis but other Havering groups can do the same. Meantime, we will continue to keep our slot at the church hall. These are unprecedented times. We must respond, adapt and work together to look after each other. It is our duty to each other to do that.
Jane said: “We are booked to appear at the Queens Theatre on the 19th of June. Not sure how we will rehearse for our next show but it will go on if the Theatre is open. I am working on a new programme that will be both uplifting and fun for all because singing and laughter is the best medicine! We hope to see our audience dancing in their seats again very soon.”