Choir expands to include staff and students in Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA ) institutesGMIT Virtual Choir has released “Bohemian Rhapsody”, its sixth virtual project in the past year. The arrangement of the iconic Freddie Mercury song is by Mark Brymer with GMIT Choir Director, Sean Rowland, adding several parts. To view the video please visit the GMIT Official Facebook page www.facebook.com/GMITOfficial or watch it on YouTube at Sean Rowland described this new release, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, as the most challenging project undertaken to date by the GMIT Virtual Choir, saying: "The song consists of five complex harmony lines and is made up of very distinct sections. It has no chorus but includes an intro, ballad, operatic passage, hard rock and a reflective outro.
"This would have been challenging enough live but to tackle it virtually was on another level, especially when you take into consideration that the GMIT choirs (staff/student/virtual ) were all formed as positive wellbeing initiatives and thus all staff and students were welcome to join without having to audition or without having any choral/musical experience.
"Some of the parts when isolated made very little musical sense theoretically and didn't offer up any form or recognisable pattern or 'hook', so breaking it down and taking it little by little was key. We had four weekly 90-minute virtual rehearsals on Zoom and everyone had a week to video record their individual section(s ) and send them to me with extra footage they felt appropriate for inclusion in the end video."
Choir Manager Anita Mahony heard about the IBEC National Workplace Virtual Choir category of the Cork International Choral Festival, and a decision was made to enter GMIT Voices in this contest. Sean Rowland added: "I was immensely proud of all the participants taking on this challenge - a true testament to the culture fostered within GMIT. Including all the extra footage of students, staff and family members moshing and rockin' out to the hit song was the icing on the cake. They really captured the spirit and I hope all those who get to see this triumph think so to!"
The virtual choir is already in rehearsals for a new project, as Anita Mahony explained: "To mark the end of the 20/21 academic year, GMIT Voices commenced its seventh project - the first with the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA ) collaboration, involving staff and students from Letterkenny IT, IT Sligo and GMIT (eight campuses ) singing the fabulous “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Several rehearsals have already taken place with more than 100 participants signed up."