Monday 19 February 2018

Leader of Ireland’s Homeless ‘High Hopes’ choir: ‘It’s been amazing to see their self esteem grow and it’s given them a bit of hope’

The High Hopes Choir
The High Hopes Choir
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

The leader of Ireland’s High Hopes choir, made up of singers coping with homelessness, said that the project has given those involved a new sense of hope for the future.

Music producer David Hennessy joined the High Hopes choir last year and said it has been hugely rewarding to see how the project’s success throughout the last twelve months has impacted the confidence of its homeless members.

“It’s been an amazing year for the choir and it’s been so rewarding to see the members’ confidence grow as a result of its success. It has given them a bit of self-esteem and it’s given them back hope. The choir has allowed everyone involved in it to see that there is hope,” he said.

The past twelve months have seen the choir perform in Áras an Uachtaráin for President Michael D. Higgins and take to the stage at Electric Picnic which David said was one of the 2016’s highlights.

“Electric Picnic was one of those things were you don’t really know how it’s going to go. We were performing on stage in Stradbally at 10am and the amount of people that turned up… we were amazed!

“It’s hard to say that one performance was better than the other because there has been so many highlights.”

The choir’s impressive year has not yet come to a close as the group are set to perform at Ireland’s Christmas festival Winterval this weekend in Waterford and are celebrating the release of their Christmas single with Christy Moore released today.

“We’re performing in Winterval on Saturday and there will be buses arriving from Cork, Dublin and Waterford so it should be a lovely evening down in Waterford which is all in aid of St. Vincent de Paul.

“The choir has released our single with Christy Moore – The Fairytale of New York - which is on iTunes from today and that was another exciting project for the choir.

Despite the positive impact of the choir, Mr Hennessy stressed that Ireland’s homeless crisis is at a critical level.

“Yes the choir has provided hope and confidence to those 80 members involved but the fact is homelessness is not going away. With this choir the aim was always that if it could help one person it would be worth it and it has but there are still too many people coping with homelessness in Ireland each day,” he said.

The choir, which is comprised of groups from Dublin, Waterford and Cork, was originally set up by the former principal conductor of the RTE Concert Orchestra David Brophy.

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