A WORD FROM JEAN, OUR CHAIRPERSON....
Joining the choir was the best thing I have ever done. I was a stay-at-home mum, overcoming cancer and was looking for something to do with my time. The TV documentary about David Brophy and his quest to get people who were homeless and people working in homelessness organisations together to form a choir inspired me. I said at the time I would love to join that choir. Through a friend who worked in the men’s hostel in Waterford I was given the opportunity to do so. From the first day I went in I was made to feel welcome and everyone was so friendly and straight away I knew I had made the right decision. Over the years the ethos of the choir has changed. Members who had been homeless have now got homes to call there own and some have moved on to get jobs and have left the choir. The choir now consists of some of the original members and new members who have other struggles i.e. Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol, Cancer and some who were just looking to join to sing and have fun with other people.
As a group we have come a long way and I think it is because we are like a big family, everyone looks out for each other and we are all there to help and listen if someone needs it. We are all equal and treat each other with respect. I think if we can get through the covid pandemic and the lockdowns and still come out strong we definitely have something fantastic going here and we will keep singing as long as people keep listening to us. I am very proud of every member of the choir and thankful for their friendship and support.
THE COMMITTEE: KATHLEEN, MARY, CLARE, CHRISTINE, ALBERT AND SABRINA
A WORD FROM MARTYN TRAVIS, OUR MUSICAL DIRECTOR...
I followed my dream, to write and perform my songs. I left Ireland and spent several years, based in Amsterdam, treading the boards in Holland, Belgium, Germany and the USA, playing folk clubs, festivals and small theatres. I recorded a few CD’s along the way and feel blessed that many of my songs have been recorded by other artists. It really is the highest honour when someone takes the time to learn one of your songs and particularly when they go and record it and put it on an album.
Now I am back in Ireland working as a fisherman, gigging, writing and also the Musical Director of the High Hopes Choir. I feel so honoured to be working with the choir and I love it!!
My background has not been in choirs but working in bands ( and of course as a fisherman).I explained this to the choir at our first rehearsal, who at that time were a rudderless ship with a list of engagements to fulfil. My approach was to give it my best shot and treat them like one of many previous bands, employing all the information and knowledge I had acquired from being on the road and performing.
Five years later I can honestly say that ‘our little gang’ has gone from strength to strength. We are a well-oiled machine. It is so rewarding to see how members have grown, flourished, gained confidence through the gift of singing. I truly believe that the choir members are really doing it for themselves with a little bit of encouragement from the side lines.
THE MUSICIANS: PETER CURRAN, MARIAN INGOLDSBY PHD, TONY COMERFORD & PAUL MCEVOY OUR ROADIE