Sing Ireland unveils new initiatives to encourage all generations to continue hitting the high notes during lockdown

  • Singing offers range of physical and mental health benefits and helps improves sense of well-being and happiness

Sing Ireland, the organisation that develops, supports and promotes all forms of group singing across the island of Ireland, has unveiled a number of new initiatives to encourage all generations to continue singing and rehearsing safely during Covid-19 and beyond.

As face-to-face group singing is currently restricted during lockdown, Sing Ireland is encouraging all those interested in singing, regardless of their age or ability, to get involved in the new initiatives as studies[1] show that singing – even virtually – provides a wide range of health benefits such as improving breathing, posture and muscle tension as well as lessening stress and anxiety. Singing has also been shown to improve our sense of well-being and happiness, all of which are now more important than ever due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

In partnership with Creative Aging International and supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, the new ‘Ageing Voices’ initiative aims to encourage older singing enthusiasts to continue their musical passion during lockdown. Offering a range of tools and networking opportunities, participants have access to high quality training and events, as well as specialist advice on how to maintain and sustain their voice. Ageing Voices sees the creation of training aids and resource materials for older people, community choirs and care givers. This aims to remove barriers so that more singing can take place in care settings. Alongside this, the project offers training with highly respected musicians who are working in care or community settings with all sorts of singing group. The project reduces isolation by bringing the power of singing to the lives of those who may be cocooning during 2020.

Younger singers, meanwhile, can engage in the ‘YouthSing Ireland’ initiative which is focused on encouraging younger people interested in singing to connect with other singers. The programme aims to, over the coming years, provide group singing tuition and experience to every child and young person in Ireland. ‘YouthSing Ireland’ also seeks to contribute to the delivery of music education in schools as well as connecting to other school subjects, with a particular focus on the Irish language. Newly commissioned resources in the Irish language and of Irish cultural heritage have been commissioned. Sing Ireland is partnering with the National Children’s Choir as well as Folens Publishers in this work.

‘YouthSing Ireland’ has also created, the SingSpace – a space outside of formal education that can bring singers from various schools together with singers in youth choirs and conductors / composers / animateurs. Operating online during 2020, it is hoped, all going well, that the first face to face iterations will take place in 2021. The YouthSing Ireland programme is supported by the Creative Ireland programme.

Sing Ireland is based in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick and leads a range of activities for singing groups across the country. As well as providing singers with the opportunity to meet other like-minded people, Sing Ireland also provides information and advice to members, organises singing days and workshops, and manages a library lending scheme of 14,000 pieces of Irish and other music. Sing Ireland is the parent organisation of the national Irish Youth Choirs. During the lockdown, Sing Ireland has also run a series of online events that support the group singing sector and which regularly saw hundreds of attendees. They also offer a range of training and support services to primary and secondary school teachers, as well as mentoring and masterclass opportunities to conductors and musicians.

Dermot O’Callaghan, CEO of Sing Ireland, says: “Singing is fun, therapeutic, social, and stimulating. What has become very clear during this pandemic is that singing is more important than ever to help keep spirits raised during this difficult time. So, while singing in groups is not allowed, there is no reason why people can’t access our on-line facilities and continue singing at home – or with others via virtual means.

“At Sing Ireland, we’re committed to working to find as many ways as possible to encourage more people to get involved and experience the positive impact singing can have on their health, wellbeing and overall creativity. That’s the reason we have developed these great new initiatives – and we look forward to as many people as possible getting involved to ensure that singing continues during Covid-19 and beyond.”

Sing Ireland’s website – www.singireland.ie – has more details about the initiatives and also lists singing groups across the country. Members include children’s choirs, workplace choirs, youth choirs, hospital and care home choirs, choir clubs, university choirs, church and cathedral choirs, choral societies, and choirs for those in older age or active retirement. Whether it’s singing popular hits, classical, jazz, Gregorian chant, hip-hop, gospel or folk – there is a group to suit everyone!

Sing Ireland was founded in 1980 and is a registered charity. The organisation is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland.

www.singireland.ie


[1] http://www.ox.ac.uk/research/choir-singing-improves-health-happiness-%E2%80%93-and-perfect-icebreaker#

Christmas FM is back on the airwaves this Saturday meaning it’s officially Christmas!

Well, to be frank – it has been a difficult year for everyone and some cheer and good news is badly needed……. which is why you will be delighted to hear that Christmas FM is returning to the airwaves this weekend! The hugely popular Christmas themed radio station will switch on Christmas in Ireland with its annual FM broadcast starting Middaythis Saturday, 28th November 2020 to help lift the spirits of the entire nation.

Turn on Christmas FM to hear all of your festive music favourites, played by a host of familiar voices! The presenters, who are volunteering their time to bring a smile to everyone’s faces, will be broadcasting around the clock to keep the population smiling. So, whether it’s Mariah Carey you want to belt out or Shakin’ Stevens you’re dancing to, Christmas FM will bring the magic of Christmas to your home for you and your loved ones!

Christmas FM wants to “Give the Gift of Home” this year by raising over €200,000 which will go directly to ALONE, the Christmas FM charity partner for 2020. This year Christmas FM aims to raise funds to enable ALONE to provide over 20,000 hours of vital support to older people in Ireland enabling them to live happily and independently in their own homes and communities, as there is no place like home – especially at Christmas time.

Christmas FM will be celebrating its 13th year on air this year and, since it began broadcasting, has raised almost €2.5 million for a range of charities. The costs of running Christmas FM are covered by various sponsors, ensuring that all on-air fundraising and listener donations will go directly to ALONE. Cadbury, Coca Cola and An Post are premier FM sponsors for 2020 and the radio station will broadcast from the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin, who have kindly given the studio space for free.

The station will be broadcasting live on FM, on smart speakers, the Christmas FM app and online at www.christmasfm.com

Christmas FM also has a number of sister stations which are available globally, helping to sprinkle Christmas cheer right across the globe!

  • Christmas FM Classical plays ‘Classical and Carols’. The station brings you the best in Classical Christmas music mixed with a wide range of festive carols
  • Christmas FM Classics plays ‘Classics and Crooners’. It’s a mix of classic, pre-1970s Christmas songs from Bing to Frank and Nat to Eartha

Garvan Rigby, co-founder of Christmas FM, says:

“We are delighted to bring Christmas FM back on-air for our thirteenth year. We are beyond delighted to have reached this mark and want to thank each and every one of our listeners who have supported us and in turn, supported each of our chosen charities. We would like to thank Cadbury, Coca Cola and An Post who have come on board as premier FM sponsors for 2020. We’re excited to switch on Christmas in Ireland and begin our fundraising for our charity partner Alone, so we can reach our aim of providing over 20,000 hours of vital support to older people in Ireland.”

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE says:

“Christmas FM has been such an incredible journey for our organisation so far as we have finally arrived at launch day. We’ve reflected on our work through storytelling and conversation with our older people, volunteers and staff. As we work alongside Christmas FM to ‘Give the Gift of Home’ this Christmas, we encourage the Country to listen in as we come together to make this the most meaningful Christmas yet.”

The main radio frequencies for Christmas FM are Dublin City and County 105.2FM, Cork City, part County 106.7FM, Cavan 99.4FM, Galway City, part County 87.7FM, Kildare 88.1FM, Kilkenny City 104.3, Letterkenny 105.7, Limerick City 105.5FM, Midlands North 101.6FM, Sligo 95FM, South East 103.8FM, Tralee / Killarney 105FM, Waterford City 105.9FM, Wicklow North 99.5FM, Wicklow South 106.6FM, and Ennis/Clare 105.2FM.

Christmas FM will also broadcast on Virgin Media Channel 900. Find out all the ways to listen at https://christmasfm.com/listenin/

Christmas FM is also available online at

www.christmasfm.com

You can follow the station on social at

@christmasfm

Maxol Group partners with AirSpeed Telecom to deliver enhanced cloud connectivity service to support Microsoft applications

  • AirSpeed Telecom’s ‘Cloud Connectivity’ solution has resulted in faster connection and greater data security and privacy for Maxol Group’s 237 service stations around Ireland
  • New services contribute to ongoing business transformation of Maxol Group, which is 100 years in business this year

Dublin, 24 November 2020; AirSpeed Telecom, a leading provider of high-performance telecommunications products and services to enterprise, public sector and small to medium sized businesses, has delivered a range of enhanced internet solutions to help support the ongoing business transformation of the Maxol Group.

With 237 service stations throughout the island of Ireland, the Maxol Group is Ireland’s leading family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer. The business is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this year.

AirSpeed Telecom’s has worked with the Maxol Group for the past four years providing a diverse range of services to the business. Most recently, AirSpeed Telecom has delivered enhanced services by providing an ExpressRoute service to Microsoft Azure, through their new Cloud Connectivity service.

This has resulted in a reliable and faster connection with superior data privacy and security. The Maxol Group is also experiencing improved performance, security and user experience for employees and retailers when using Microsoft applications.

Stephen McCormack, Head of IT, The Maxol Group, said:

“AirSpeed Telecom has provided Maxol with WAN and internet services since 2016. It is critical for us to ensure our core services and applications are always available to our retailers and staff. The diverse connectivity solutions installed by AirSpeed Telecom has given us a robust system with excellent reliability. We are moving more of our applications and services off premises to the cloud and we have chosen AirSpeed Telecom once again to support us on this migration, using their Cloud Connectivity service to peer directly into Azure. This has made a huge difference in terms of how we run our business.’’

AirSpeed Telecom, Managing Director, Charles O’Reilly, says:

“We’re delighted to continue our work with the Maxol Group to offer our services and applications in support of their business transformation. Like many of our customers, the Maxol Group has placed huge importance on Cloud connectivity as a means of ensuring seamless connectivity with partners, suppliers and customers. Our high bandwidth and diverse connectivity ensures excellent performance and uptime for the Maxol Group’s services and applications. Our Cloud Connectivity solution has given the Maxol Group the tools to privately interconnect into Microsoft Azure, which, in turn, provides them with consistent access to their cloud services.”

Delivering bespoke solutions over fibre, wireless and copper infrastructure, AirSpeed Telecom works with businesses on the island of Ireland across a range of sectors, including financial services, retail, construction, food and beverage and hospitality. Among the clients that AirSpeed Telecom is proud to work with are Chill, Keeling’s, Manor Farm and Kilsaran.

About AirSpeed Telecom:

AirSpeed Telecom is a leading provider of high-performance telecommunications products and bandwidth services to enterprise, medium to large sized businesses and public sector clients.

Founded in 2003, AirSpeed Telecom provides customers with fast, uncontended and symmetrical connectivity which allows businesses perform to their full potential. To reinforce this vision of always-on connectivity, AirSpeed Telecom offers premium level Service Level Agreements (SLAs) as standard.

The full-suite of communication solutions includes dedicated connectivity, voice and security as well as cloud services. Delivering bespoke solutions over fibre, wireless and copper infrastructure, AirSpeed Telecom works with businesses on the island of Ireland and internationally across a range of sectors, including financial services, construction, food and beverage and hospitality. Among the clients that AirSpeed Telecom is proud to work with are Chill, Keelings, Manor Farm and Kilsaran, among others.

All customers have access to first line technical support from the company’s Network Operation Centre. All network elements are monitored proactively with service support provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.

AirSpeed Telecom is 100% owned by the Irish Infrastructure Fund (IIF), which controls over €500 million of investments across energy, telecoms, tourism and healthcare in Ireland.

AirSpeed launched their Cloud Connect service in 2019 offering private peering to over 140 major cloud providers.

www.airspeed.ie