Solstice Choir a big hit in London!

After months of planning and rehearsals, the Roscommon Solstice Choir recently travelled to London, where they performed a successful concert for Acton Homeless Concern. Initially, the popular choir made contact with Sr. Helen Bosquette, from Strokestown, and Fr. Ultan Naughton, from Roscommon, who both work with Acton Homeless Concern in the English Capital. 

  And, from Thursday, February 18 to 21, their trip came to fruition. They travelled via Ireland West Airport at Knock, picking up members of the choir and their families and friends en route.

  Even before they boarded their aircraft, they were in full voice. Patrons at the airport were treated to a rousing rendition of the new Roscommon anthem, Land of the O’Connor, written by Paddy Lohan.

  On arrival at Luton Airport, the choir made their way to their accommodation in Ealing, London. With a bit of spare time, members availed of the opportunity to meet friends and relatives, many of whom had travelled from various parts of England to attend the concert.

  The long-awaited concert took place the next day, Friday, February 19, in St Aidan’s Church, East Acton, in aid of Acton Homeless Concern.

  The charity was founded in 1989 and has two centres in the area, where they provide 7,000 meals a week to poor people.

  The concert was a great success and was well attended. A mixture of songs – gospel, religious, ballads and classical – were performed under the directorship of siblings Andrew and Eimear Reynolds, from Rooskey. Musical accompaniment was provided by James Wallace.

  A highlight of the night was Fr. Ultan’s Reflection on Roscommon, a special piece written by Paul Healy, the editor of the Roscommon People.

  The concert raised €5,000, which was a very welcome boost to the charity.

  The following night, Saturday, the choir members went to the West End to attend a production of the long-standing musical Les Misérables. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by all.

  Later that evening, the choir attended and sang at a Mass in Fr. Ultan’s Church, Our Lady of Lourdes at High Street, Acton.

  On Sunday, the choir made their return journey to Ireland, bringing to a conclusion a very fruitful and enjoyable trip.

  Jimmy Hoban, a member of the choir, would like to express thanks to the following: Andrew, Eimear, James, Bridget, Marie and all choir members; and Fr. Fergal, Fr. Ultan, Sr. Helen Bosquette, Ian Breen, Anne Gray and all members of the Acton Homeless Concern.

  He would also like to thank crew members Eddie, Ryan, Catherine, Gussie, Finian, Brendan and Paul, along with Angelina Nugent, the MC.

  He would also like to thank the management and drivers of Coyle’s and Mullaney bus companies, along with Fr. Raymond Browne and all in the Kilbride Community Centre, Fourmilehouse.

  Finally, thanks are also extended to the management and staff of