A feast of music and song for charity

AN evening of music in support of Laois Offaly Families for Autism and Portlaoise Educate Together National School will take place next Thursday, May 3, in the Dunamaise Arts Centre.

AN evening of music in support of Laois Offaly Families for Autism and Portlaoise Educate Together National School will take place next Thursday, May 3, in the Dunamaise Arts Centre.

Titled ‘Kids in Common’, the concert will feature performers who work with children

in a variety of settings and will include a variety of music from all genres. Among the talent on show will be a trio of female vocalists made up of Nuala Kelly, Vivien Graham and Georgina Ireland, who will be performing a mix of contemporary, classic and folk music accompanied on guitar or a cappella; Joan White, a teacher in Killenard NS and member of several local musical groups; Ann-Marie Ireland, who runs the stage school Rising Stars; Scoil Chriost Ri student, Ciara Finlay, who has recently been on stage with both Portlaoise Musical Society and Portlaoise Pantomime Group; soprano Sarah Vaughan, who has participated in two of the Musical Society’s productions, winning the award for her portrayal of Belle in Beauty and the Beast; and Sarah O’Sullivan, a teacher in Scoil Bhride, Knockmay, who has been involved in most of Portlaoise Musical Society’s productions for the last 9 years.

MC for the evening will be special guest, Declan Buckley, of RTE’s Telly Bingo. The show will be produced by Alex Cathcart, of Educate Together. Alex began his musical career aged 8 as a chorister in St Patrick’s Cathedral choir, singing in daily services and supporting the likes of Placido Domingo and Monserrat Cabelle in their Irish performances. Musical director is Niall Mulpeter, a teacher in Heywood College. He has worked as a vocal coach, musical director, choir director, accompanist, director and performer. Niall has also experience teaching drama and musical theatre and has worked with numerous stage schools.

The show will begin at 8pm, with a sparkling wine reception from 7.30. Tickets are priced €20 and can be obtained from the Dunamaise box office at 05786 63355.

Portlaoise Educate Together National School opened its doors in September 2011, with three teachers and less than 50 students. Just 18 months later there are now eleven members of staff and over 120 students, with two more Junior Infants classes fully enrolled for next September. Multi-denominational with a committment to encourage pupils to appreciate and respect all social and cultural differences, Educate Together promises to build genuine partnership between the professional and the parent to provide the maximum educational benefit for the child.

Laois Offaly Families for Autism is a local support group run by parents and families of children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The group actively campaign to raise awareness of autism in the area and seek health, educational and support services that are appropriate to meet the needs of children and adults with autism.

For more, visit the websites www.petns.ie, and www.loffa.ie.