Very popular Portlaoise choir calls it a day

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

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Portlaoise Gospel Choir in full voice at SS Peter & Paul's Parish Church in Portlaoise.

One Direction, Boyzone, Westlife, The Beatles and now one of the most popular singing groups in Laois and beyond has decided to call it a day - for now at least.

News broke Friday, November 17 that the members Portlaoise Gospel Choir have decided to go their seperate ways due to a reduction in membership.

"It is with considerable regret and sadness after 12 years together that the Portlaoise Gospel Choir have decided to cease due to reasons beyond our control," said a statement.

They say numbers have fallen in recent years meaning they were unable to continue with their musical director, Marji Maxwell, and organist, both of whom had to travel long distances for practice.

The members and committee thanked the musical director for her dedication over the past seven years. Special thanks were given for the assistance in preparing for and performing during Sunday Mass broadcast on RTÉ.

The group also thanked Portlaoise Parish Priest Msgr John Byrne for his support and allowing the choir be part of various other Masses and ceremonies. These included the confirmation service, 12.30pm Sunday Mass and Christmas Even Mass.

"We found it an uplifiting and wonderful experience," they said.

Thanks were also extend to all the priests of the parish, Declan and Nuala Kelly, Parish Centre staff and the Link Up for the support and encouragement.

The statement concluded by saying the singers are still willing and able if a new choir comes along.

"To any person who may be considering organising a local choir, be assured that there is a wealth of talent and support available locally. The parish centre will have a contact for Portlaoise Gospel if needed," said the statement published in the Portlaoise Link-up.