The Fermoy International Choir, set up in January 2019 to bring people together through singing, has been awarded significant grant funding for its efforts to enhance and enable greater community integration.
Made up of over 100 members, from 25 different countries, the choir now intends to use the funding to develop a toolkit to help other towns build their own multicultural choirs.
This week, the choir was informed that they’d been approved for funding of €5,000 through the Government’s Communities Integration Fund.
“It’s great for the choir and great for the town,” said Graham Clifford of the Together Ireland initiative, which helped establish the group.
And he told The Avondhu of plans for a choral festival in Fermoy when the pandemic has passed.
“Our plan is to help set up community choirs just like this in other towns across Ireland. To show others how it can be done. To use choral singing to build bridges in societies, to foster friendships, to bring people together no matter their nationality. To embrace diversity and have fun doing it.
“And once we have a network of choirs to hold an annual choral festival in Fermoy – the place where it all began. It could give a huge boost to the town and local business while proudly celebrating social inclusion at its best,” he said.
PLANNING TO ‘LIFT THE SPIRITS’ ONCE AGAIN
With the funding, the choir is also building towards a Christmas project as choir director Lisa Dunphy explained: “Recently we recorded the song ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ for Culture Night in Fermoy and it showed what can be done – safely and sensibly. So, we will put our heads together and see if we can produce something very special and appropriate.
“Something to lift the spirits and reflect the close bonds that exist in our town. It’s really quite wonderful to get such recognition and it’s a testament to the great work of all our choir members, one big family.”
The Together Ireland initiative, is supported by the Tomar Trust, and was also the group which kick-started the Covid-19 World Service, which produces multilingual video messaging for people during the pandemic.