independent

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Wicklow ladies' gold standard performance

The Sea of Change Choir celebrate after Denise van Outen hit the golden buzzer to send them straight through to the live semi-finals of Ireland’s Got Talent
The Sea of Change Choir celebrate after Denise van Outen hit the golden buzzer to send them straight through to the live semi-finals of Ireland’s Got Talent

Deborah Coleman and Mary Fogarty

Five brave Wicklow women who stripped off for a dip in the Irish sea for charity have formed part of a new choir which wowed the judges on Ireland's Got Talent on Saturday night.

Mary de Courcy from Wicklow Town, Siobhán Gleeson originally from Kilcoole, Marian O'Regan from Arklow, Denise O'Donnell from Ashford and Kerensa D'Arcy Barr from Kilqaude are members of the Sea of Change choir which was formed following the successful Strip and Dip event.

Strip and Dip is an annual fundraiser for the Aoibheann's Pink Tie children's cancer charity which last year broke a world record for the largest number of nude swimmers to enter the sea together.

A total of 2505 ladies took part in the event at Magheramore beach last June.

Arklow woman Marian O'Regan who sadly lost her brother Tony and cousin Eileen to cancer, has done the swim twice and decided to apply to become a choir member when the idea was floated on the Sea of Change Facebook page.

'The organiser, Deirdre posted if anyone would be interested in taking part and I put my name down. I was picked from the applicants and became one of the 45 choir members, along with the other Wicklow ladies,' Marian said.

The choir rehearses every Sunday under the guidance of musical director Ian Brabazon and couldn't believe it when they received the famed 'Golden Buzzer' while performing on Ireland's Got Talent.

'We decided to enter and we sent off our clip and then we were called for audition. Judge Denise Van Outen pressed the Golden Buzzer which put us through to the live shows at the end of March. We can't wait and we are hoping the people of Wicklow get behind us and vote,' Marian said.

Mary de Courcy said that the reaction to their performance has been heart-warming. 'We rehearse in St Patrick's Church in Lucan every Sunday,' she said. Last Sunday, when they arrived at the Lord Lucan Inn for their weekly cuppa, they received a standing ovation from the customers, and champagne or tea or coffee on the house. 'This is Me' singer Keala Settle has re-tweeted their clip and was impressed by Sea of Change's version of the song from the Greates Showman. 'It would do your heart good,' said Mary, who praised the choir's musical director Ian Brabazon. 'He works late into the night, at times he could be up until three or four in the morning working out a score.'

'Over half the choir are cancer survivors, some of them going through treatment,' said Mary. 'These are incredible women. They are brave, funny, kind thoughtful, and some are as mad as eggs and it's just wonderful!'

They are now in rehearsals for the li ve semi-finals, which will take place towards the end of March. 'We will be asking everyone to get behind us and vote,' said Mary.

Fans can follow the Sea of Change choir's progress on their Facebook page.

Wicklow People

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