Singing in the forest - Summer 2020

Carols despite corona – how an Aljezur choir overcame pandemic restrictions

When the pandemic lockdown began, it became impossible to continue rehearsing in the music room inside the Aljezur Bombeiros building. Undaunted, we were determined to find a way to keep singing together.

Two choir members suggested singing outside in a woodland area near their home and throughout our sunny Portuguese summer, we met and sang here under the expert direction of Sr. António de Jesus. We brought our own chairs and sat well apart under the cool shade of the pine trees. It was a special experience, rather surreal and definitely unique.

When the summer ended, we were allowed to return to the Bombeiros building, this time inside their large sports hall where there was enough room to observe social distancing guidelines.

We all realised this year would be very different. Churches were zooming their services and we made a video recording of Christmas carols for Father Rob Kean of the St. Vincent’s Chaplaincy, Praia da Luz. We hope that this video will also be shown in the Care Homes in Aljezur.

Padre Almeida gave us permission to hold a Christmas concert in the Aljezur Main Church. Aware that constantly changing coronavirus restrictions could halt our plans at any time, we carried on regardless. To be allowed to sing “live” was an almost impossible dream but “Carols Despite Corona” did indeed become a reality.

Coronavirus constraints permitting, we hope to celebrate our choir’s 20th anniversary in 2021 by performing for local communities and sharing the pleasure of music with all the people who live here as well as our friends and families worldwide.

If you would like more information, please contact Sheila on 914 285 640.

By Leni Eves