Falkirk-based Freedom Of Mind Community Choir singing off same digital song sheet courtesy of donations

Members of a Falkirk-based choir can now sing off the same online song sheet thanks to a crowdfunding campaign.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 2:55 pm

Freedom Of Mind Community Choir was awarded iPads and MiFi devices via generous donations by the “global singing community” and the Scottish Government’s Connecting Scotland scheme.

The group has handed out the equipment to members who hadn’t been able to take part in its pandemic-enforced digital gatherings.

MiFis, or MiFi dongles, are compact, wireless devices, usually a little smaller than a smartphone, that create a localised Wi-Fi signal.

Music directors Kim Edgar and Mariot Dallas presented members with iPads, awarded through the Connecting Scotland scheme. Picture: Michael Gillen.
Music directors Kim Edgar and Mariot Dallas presented members with iPads, awarded through the Connecting Scotland scheme. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Coronavirus meant the choristers’ weekly meetings were brought to a halt last March.

However, the choir was quick to adapt, moving online with pre-recorded singing sessions led by its two music directors, Mariot Dallas and Kim Edgar.

The organisation has also been holding interactive, online social events to combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.

In turn, the group’s leaders say the sessions have helped to improve members’ mental health, with the positive messages in the choir’s repertoire chosen to uplift all involved.

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Mariot said: “Taking part in the choir provides real social and emotional benefits.

“That’s why we’re so grateful for the support we’ve received from Rainbow House, the local community, the global singing community and from the government, to make sure that every choir member can now access our sessions and be supported to gain confidence in getting online.”

Since launching as an independent, non-audition community choir in March 2019, and until Covid struck, the group met on Wednesdays at Tamfourhill Community Hub with a ‘pay what you can afford’ approach, starting from £2-per-week.

During the pandemic, all online provision, including pre-recorded YouTube singing sessions, has been delivered free of charge to choristers and interested members of the public.

Such digital gatherings have received an average of 115 views and gained positive feedback from viewers as far afield as New York, Germany and Taiwan.

The choir is keen to welcome new members who are based in and near Falkirk district.

Those who’d like to find out more can watch its YouTube sessions at www.YouTube.com/KimEdgarMusic on the Choir Sessions playlist.

Contact [email protected] to apply for a full membership.

Visit freedomofmindcommunitychoir.com or facebook.com/freedomofmindcommunitychoir on Facebook for further details.

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