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How Songcatchers stayed active during the COVID-19 quarantine

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

In the midst of a global pandemic, the people of Songcatchers found new ways to stay connected to our community.

As an organization used to springing into action, our volunteers experienced a severe change of pace. As we know, the best way to protect and care for our communities is to STAY HOME, stay safe, and flatten the curve. But that doesn't mean we disconnect.

Staying true to our mission of Reaching for Peace through Music, our office staff began working remotely from home and connected with our families on a daily basis to make sure they and their families were ok. Through several connections with local organizations, we were able to offer restaurant gift cards through New Rochelle's NourishAll program and groceries through HOPE Community Services. We also held a "Giving Tuesday Now" fundraiser for our families and gave supermarket gift cards to our families in need.

Program-wise, the staff and our After-School and Early Childhood music teachers and mentors connected with their students virtually via Google Classroom, gave free online lessons, and encouraged them to continue practicing and honing their craft, despite our inability to meet in-person for lessons. Several "Circle Times" on Zoom allowed us to reconnect with fun games and conversations while enjoying each other's company.

Our volunteers found new and creative ways to spread love to our community while social distancing. Songcatchers Board member and long-time volunteer, Rosemarie Castellano, was featured on NBC News, News 12, on social media outlets and in print, for performing a solo violin concert for her neighbors each night from the balcony of her apartment.

While New Rochelle residents opened their windows at 7 PM each evening to applaud first responders, Rosemarie contributed to the celebration with music.

Follow her Balcony Ballads page here!

Lastly, the staff from our week long overnight Choir Camp connected with Sister Beth and each other over Zoom, and started preparing for our Virtual Choir Camp in August. We were all smiles, catching up on everyone’s favorite quarantine activities, and we even got to hear from some campers (the granddaughters of choir camp director John Dennehy) who are social distancing all the way in Ireland!



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