Wednesday 19 June 2019

Audiences left feeling positive and uplifted at Gorey Festival of Choirs

Cathy Lee

Voices of all ages came together to celebrate in song at the third annual Festival of Choirs, which took places in schools, churches, Gorey Civic Square and the Ashdown Park Hotel over four days.

'The standard just went sky high this year in all the venues. It was all a huge success, and we're thankful to the people of Gorey and the outside areas, as well as the sponsors, who have really become loyal to the festival,' said Paul Brown of Gorey Festival of Choirs.

With over €12,000 raised for Wexford Hospice Homecare Service, plans are already underway for next year, and any interested choirs are invited to make contact with the festival.

'From now on, we'll showcase that choral music is something that's just part of Gorey, and that Gorey is seen as a place to come and visit next year's festival, from all over Ireland,' said Paul Brown.

Beginning at Creagh College, four post primary school choirs joined forces.

'The venue was perfect for the occasion, thanks to the support of Creagh College students and staff of the music and art departments,' said Paul Brown.

On Friday, the primary schools performed at the Ashdown Park Hotel, with seven choirs taking part including a special needs choir from St Aidan's services.

'The stage was set with a circus them, we had a ring master and children's entertainment. Over 280 people sang 'This is me' at the end,' said Paul Brown.

Friday night was topped off with a gala concert, attended by about 300 people to celebrate Gorey 400, which included the Harmony Men's choir, who had travelled from Gorey in Jersey, on the Channel islands.

The forty Harmony Men were met with a civic reception from Gorey Municipal District, and they sang 'Sunny side of the street,' in the Gorey Chamber.

'There's a new relationship here now, a link has been created between the two Goreys. The Harmony Men felt so welcomed as everyone in Gorey, from the hotel to the audiences, showed them hospitality,' said Paul Brown.

Workshops during the festival were well supported, as well as the world and sacred music events, which took place over Saturday and Sunday.

'There was a huge audience in Gorey courtrooms, it was done with so much humour and so relaxed, we are very appreciative. The churches, St Michael's and Christ Church, were decorated beautifully and well attended,' said Paul Brown.

'Credo sang beautifully at Christ Church, and Cannon Mark Hayden spoke about the value of hospice care,' said Paul.

Gorey Guardian