Portlaoise singer in national event

Concert Hall: Direct Provision centres join through choral music

Portlaoise singer in national event

Six groups, representing six Direct Provision centres including one in Portlaoise, that have come together as a part of the Song Seeking Project, will be hosting a celebration of their work in the National Concert Hall.

Funded by Creative Ireland under the National Creativity Fund, intergenerational choirs are currently working with expert choral facilitators and are just one part of a cross-agency collaboration between Mary Immaculate College (MIC), Sing Ireland (SI) and the Irish Refugee Council (IRC).

Rosemary Kunene, a singer from the Portlaoise group said: "I enjoy the choir practice although am not a good singer. It is a great opportunity for residents to share a wonderful moment."

Dr Ailbhe Kenny, lecturer in Music Education at Mary Immaculate College, UL and Project lead said: “Song Seeking is a group singing project within Direct Provision Centres in Cork, Clare, Dublin, Kildare, Laois and Monaghan. In addition to the group singing workshops there will be a new choral commission written by Dr Sean Doherty through participatory workshops with the men, women and children involved, and moments of community integration through ‘SingIn’ days with local choirs.

“All this work and sharing of song will culminate with an interactive singing event on June 9 in the National Concert Hall.”

Tania Banotti, director of the Creative Ireland Programme, said: “The vision of the Creative Ireland Programme is a society where everyone has the opportunity to realise their full creative potential, and where participation in cultural and creative opportunity promotes the wellbeing not only of the individual, but also the community and nation at large.

This project breaks new ground in Ireland with regards to its intergenerational, creative and integration focus. Furthermore, 'Song Seeking' brings together both practice and research to inform future directions and aid our current understandings of asylum seekers’ cultural and creative needs.

The Song Seeking Singers will be hosted by the National Concert on June 9 at 3pm. Tickets are €5 or free to people in the asylum process. Prepare for a fun day of song and celebration.