By Michelle Crean

After their heartwarming visits in August, Covid Care Concerts returned to residential care homes in Kerry last week, bringing music and memories to some of those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding from Creative Ireland Kerry brought the concerts to residential care home settings including Heather Lee Nursing Home and Killarney Nursing Home.

The performers and musicians – Gavan Ring, Kenneth Rice, Lisa Dowdall and Paula Hughes – encourage residents to unlock memories around well-loved songs through writing down or recording a little oral history that they associate with the piece.

“We all have deep emotional connections to music,” Gavan Ring said. “And allowing these emotions to be expressed has a great therapeutic effect.”

Blackwater Valley Opera Festival partnered with the renowned classical music ensemble Mobile Music Machine to deliver these one-hour concert recitals at an appropriate social distance in the grounds of care homes. Residents and staff gather in outdoor areas or listen to the performance through open windows and doors. The musicians visited 10 residential care home and hospital settings over five days.

Other nursing homes which experienced the concerts included Kenmare Nursing Home and St Joseph’s Care Home in Kenmare; Oaklands Nursing Home, Aras Mhuire Care Home, Listowel Community Hospital in Listowel; Ocean View Nursing Home, Aperee Living, and Our Lady of Fatima Nursing Home in Tralee.