I joined at the very beginning. I’d describe myself as a ‘middle of the road’ singer, but I went long because it was happening in Fourmilehouse and two or three friends were going. All I can say is it has been a fascinating experience! The camaraderie is something else… everyone looks out for everyone. We have the banter, but when you have to be serious, you’re serious!
What I find is that so many members of the choir say it’s a social outlet… some people might be leaving issues behind, some people live alone. So if someone is in need of a lift, there is always someone there to help. We have great fun, but when we have a concert to perform, it gets serious.
The reaction of audiences has been great. Eugene Murphy has been our MC for years and he does a great job… the crowd really gets behind us. I must also say that the variety of songs that Eimear and Andrew (Reynolds) come up with is fantastic.
I’d also have to praise the committee, they do a great job. And everything is brought back to the members (for consultation). Really, it’s like a family. The ten years have flown by. That’s how I’d describe us… like a family; we’re the Roscommon Family Choir, in a really good way.
The choir started in February 2013. I joined in September of that year, after I retired, so I have been with the choir for the ten years.
At the time I had just retired as a health care assistant, and in the course of that work I had been doing activities with the patients, including singing with them, which they enjoyed!
I was also a member of the Clooneycolgan Choir, so I had a strong interest in singing. I also got involved with the Songbirds initiative (with Cathy Jordan) at Roscommon Arts Centre, and a few of us also formed ‘The Nightingales’ (another singing group), so one thing led to another!
I absolutely love the Solstice Choir. We went to London, we went to New York too. It’s very, very enjoyable. I have made lots of friends. The feedback from audiences has also been an inspiration. Now we have a busy schedule ahead, with the 10th anniversary concert on the 3rd of November, followed by the Christmas Programme of concerts. Looking back, it’s been a great ten years. Honestly, I can’t tell you how much I’ve got from being a member of the Roscommon Solstice Choir.
Hawthorne Drive, Roscommon
I joined the choir nine years ago and from the very beginning I had a great feeling! We rehearse in Fourmilehouse on Sunday nights, and while a love of singing brought us together, it’s also very much about making friends and having good times. I’ve made a lot of good friends. Members of the choir are always there for one another. Really, being in the choir is great from a social point of view!
When I look back, two concerts stand out for me over the years. When we performed for the homeless in Acton in London, that was a very rewarding experience, and a lot of money was raised for that cause. The feedback was so positive on that occasion.
Then, when we performed in Blacksod, in memory of the four people who lost their lives in the Rescue 116 mission, that was very rewarding and emotional. I was asked to make a wreath on that occasion, and I laid it on the lighthouse helipad. We all got so much out of that occasion, as I know the families of those who died did.
I’m so glad I joined the choir. I remember, I was having coffee with a few ladies, and they asked if I’d be interested. So I went along! Everyone in the choir is lovely, and it’s great company for people, especially for anyone who lives alone, as I do. We’ve travelled a good part of the world, and had great times. I look forward to us meeting up every Sunday night.
I find being a member of the Roscommon Solstice Choir very enjoyable. Socially, it’s been a great experience, but it’s also nice to be singing! The fact that we are raising money for charities and supporting good causes is great too.
I’ve had the honour of singing solo on a few occasions over the years too, which was nice. Meeting new people and making new friends is such a rewarding part of it all. Our trips to London and America were highlights of the decade, I found America especially memorable. As it was a short enough visit it was very tiring, but very enjoyable too.
There is a lot of work involved in hosting the concerts, so everyone who helps in any way deserves to be acknowledged. All I can say in conclusion is that it’s so nice to be involved, from the social side, from the singing point of view, and because so many charities benefit. It’s been a great ten years, and if anything, it’s going from strength to strength!
I joined about three months after the Roscommon Solstice Choir was set up. I’ve been singing all my life, really! I was well used to singing in churches down Rooskey and Dromod way, such as in Cloonturk and Bornacoola and Rooskey.
Being a member of the Roscommon Solstice Choir is something I absolutely enjoy. It’s like extended family… when I joined up, I met people I already knew and became reacquainted with them, and I also made so many new friends. It’s been such a positive experience.
I love the fact that the songs we sing can be so diverse, from hymns to Irish ballads to hits from the musicals, to Elton John…
I must say our musical directors, Eimear and Andrew, are brilliant. They are so welcoming. They really make you feel a part of the whole thing… they put no pressure on you and are so helpful.
We have a busy schedule coming up, which I’m really looking forward to. It’s a joy to go to Fourmilehouse every Sunday evening (for practice). It’s been a great ten years, and long may it continue.
St John’s, Lecarrow
I’ve been a member from the beginning. I’m a choir director myself, and I teach and play guitar, so obviously the interest is there!
But I must say that for me personally, a huge benefit of being in the choir has been the support of people. We’ve gone through a lot of family loss, with the loss of my daughter, sister and brother. A lot of people in the choir have (experienced loss)… so the support is great. We’re not bosom buddies, we don’t go for coffee and so on, but we’re together once a week, so we’re like a family.
The fact that the concerts are for charity is also so satisfying, in that what we do benefits so many people. It also benefits ourselves. Everyone gets something from being involved. Being involved at Blacksod (in memory of the four members of the Irish Coast Guard who died in a rescue mission) was huge for us. It was emotional. We gave a lot to that event, and we received a lot in return.
Eimear and Andrew (musical directors) are just fantastic. They keep a hold of all of us! It’s hard work… they put us through our paces! When you get to practice in Fourmilehouse, you forget your worries, and put everything behind you. Being in the choir means a huge amount.