Solstice Choir summer programme launched

There was a good turnout in Gleeson’s Townhouse in Roscommon town as the Roscommon Solstice Choir officially launched this year’s summer programme of concerts. The concerts will go towards raising much-needed funds for seven worthy causes across the region and will take place between the 17th of June and the 3rd of July.

  Liam Byrne, compere for the evening, invited choir chairman, James Hoban, to the podium. Mr. Hoban detailed how the choir was established and how it has grown to 150 members.

  He said: “Formed in February 2013 with the agreed aim of providing three concerts as part of the celebrations for the year of the Gathering, the Solstice Choir has simply gone from strength to strength. To date the choir has raised in excess of €100,000 for worthy causes and sang to thousands of people.”

  The seven causes which will benefit this year are Cloverhill NS, The Sunshine Room in Creggs, The Trinity Arts Centre, Touch Ireland, Boyle Church of Ireland, The Myles McDonagh Fund and Roscommon Cancer Support. Mr. Hoban paid tribute to the work of these charities and to the Solstice Choir itself.

  “We have a number of charities here tonight who likewise are community-based and driven. These people, like the Solstice Choir, are also giving back to their communities. What they do can never be fully documented or quantified. The blood transfusion service years ago had a slogan – ‘giving for living’ – that is in fact the very essence of what we do as people.”

  The choir has already enjoyed a busy year with performances in London for Action Homeless Concern which raised £5,000 and a series of concerts in the Roscommon Arts Centre with the Roscommon Drama Group in their production of ‘A Nation Once Again’.

  Project Liaison Officer for the choir, Bridget Giblin, siad the choir members were looking forward to a busy summer.

  Bridget said “On my own behalf, on the committee’s behalf and on the choir’s behalf we are extremely excited to be involved with all of you deserving charities. We’re delighted to be able to raise much-needed funds for all that you need to raise money for. We’re excited to get on the road in our buses and see parts of the countryside. This year we have been very fortunate to have the time and the manpower to put on concerts for seven deserving charities.”

  She added “We’re starting off our summer programme on the 17th of June in the Divine World Missions Church in Donamon Castle in beautiful surroundings. That concert is in aid of the Cloverhill National School and the Sunshine Room in Creggs National School. That concert will start at 8 pm.”

  The programme will continue at 8 pm on Sunday, June 19th in Castlerea in aid of the Trinity Arts Centre Restoration Fund. On Friday, June 24th the choir will perform in St. Joseph’s Church in Boyle in aid of Touch Ireland, a charity which raises money for children in Africa and Nepal, and the Boyle Church of Ireland Restoration Fund. On Sunday, June 26th the choir will perform for the Myles McDonagh Concern Fund in Clarinbridge in Co. Galway before finishing in Roscommon town on Sunday, July 3rd with a performance in aid of the Cancer Support Service in Vita House. 


Seven local causes to benefit from funds raised

The Roscommon Solstice Choir summer programme will benefit seven worthy causes this year. Representatives from Creggs NS, Cloverhill NS, Castlerea’s Trinity Arts Centre, Myles McDonagh Fund for Concern, Boyle Church of Ireland, Touch Ireland and Roscommon Cancer Support Centre were in attendance at the launch night which was held recently in Gleeson’s Townhouse.


  Money raised from each of the performances between the 17th of June and the 7th of July will go towards these causes and those representatives present at the launch of the programme were grateful to the choir for their continued efforts.

 Representing Cloverhill National School, Catherine Mullarkey, said: “We’re happy and humble and honoured to be here at the launch night, on behalf of myself and Fiona (Brandon) of Creggs NS Sunshine Room.”

  Fiona Brandon said that the funds would go a long way to assisting the Creggs NS Sunshine Room in their important work with young students.

             “We’re delighted that the choir is helping us and we are going to spend the funds on physio equipment, OT equipment and speech and language activities for the children in our school.”

  Breege Callaghan from the Trinity Arts Centre in Castlerea said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the Trinity Arts Centre has been chosen as a venue for the Solstice Choir this year. The whole point of the project (Trinity Arts Centre) is the community.”

  Sr. Nora Burke spoke on behalf of Touch Ireland and detailed the good work fundraising enabled in the poorest parts of the world.

  “We’re very humbled and very delighted that you’re coming to Boyle and we’ll give you a roaring welcome. My own background is being out on the Missions and seeing people at very different levels of development to what we’re at here. Our focus is on the wider overseas community; Africa and Nepal…so basically it’s education, medical care and social means.”

  Sr. Nora was joined at the podium by Olive Rowe, who was representing the Boyle Church of Ireland Restoration Fund. She expressed her gratitude to the Solstice Choir for their assistance with much-needed fundraising.

  Speaking on behalf of Roscommon Cancer Support, Catriona Mullally said that the Solstice Choir were assisting with vital services in the area.

  “I’d like to take this time to give an immense thank you to the Solstice Choir for giving us the opportunity to raise funds. Roscommon Cancer Support Centre offers counselling, complimentary therapy and well-being courses to those affected by cancer and their family and friends.”

  Diarmuid McDonagh, representing the Myles McDonagh Concern Fund, was looking forward to the Solstice Choir’s first ever visit to Galway and highlighted the important reasons for such a visit. “Myles was our son. He was killed in a road accident in 2006. Since then we remember him in lots of ways, one of which is through this fund. We set it up in 2007 to remind us of how much Myles enjoyed school and learning. My wife Noreen and I worked for Concern in Bangladesh in the 1980s, therefore we thought a suitable charity we could support in this case would be street children…with their education. These children have very little chance in life and this is one way of helping Concern, who are already established in the country. With the kind support of the Solstice Choir who are going to have Eleanor Shanley with them on the night, along with two local groups. We greatly welcome the chance to raise funds for this charity.”

  The Roscommon Solstice Choir summer programme will start at 8 pm on Friday, 17th of June in Donamon Castle.