Christmas In June

Published 28 June 2021

Hello there,

My name is Barbara Dowling and this is an open invitation to the Singers of Ireland to participate in a very special concert taking place next year. I am putting an exceptionally large choir together for a fundraising and awareness concert for Brain Tumour Ireland, which will be held in the WIT arena in Waterford on June 26th 2022, with an in-person rehearsal taking place on Saturday June 25th. The choir will be accompanied by an orchestra of 200+ who are travelling from all over Ireland, Europe, Great Britain and the USA in order to participate, all at their own expense. This concert will be quite unusual as it will be a full programme of Christmas music (yes in June!), but the majority of the arrangements are pieces that have never been performed here before. The Orchestral and Choral aspects of the production will be spearheaded by Liam Daly, Dr. Kevin O' Carroll, Niall Crowley and Éimear Noone. Here are a few links to some of the works that are on the programme….

Dan Forrest silent night

Polar Express Suite

Boston pops hark the herald

O Magnum Mysterium

Not only am I being brazen enough to ask you to participate but I’m also going to have the audacity to ask you to pay to do it! €5 from each choir member for choirs with less than 20 members and €100 per choir for those with numbers over 20. The only requirement is that you are over 18 and can sing to a reasonably high standard, as some of the programme is quite difficult. Individuals from choirs are more than welcome if the full choral compliment is unable to participate. All of the monies raised are going directly to BTI. I don’t want this to be an event where 3/4’s of the funds raised are going to cover expenses.. all funds are for the charity (which is registered).

I really hope that you will be willing to give your time to do this… just think of all the reacquainting that will happen, the craic and probably the bedlam that will be involved!!!

Please can you let me know if you are interested. Ask all the questions you want. Text, email, call, the sooner the better! There is absolutely no issue if you would rather not participate, but I think we might all have fun!

Simply contact me with your choir name, voice, mobile and email and I'll be in touch!

A brief explanation behind the reasoning of this project is as follows;

Within 48 hours in July of 2019, I was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, multiple sclerosis and thyroid cancer. It’s taken a while to get things sorted but it’s getting there! The tumour will stay where it is, a slow growing one that will eventually turn cancerous. The MS will be treated shortly now that the radioactive iodine treatment is finished and I’m delighted to say that I am now cancer-free! I’m lucky as the form of MS that I have is called relapsing-remitting MS and can be stopped from progressing once the treatment starts. It won’t fix the current issues but may ease them (which basically for me means I may get my full sight back, get full power back to the arms, fingers and legs, say goodbye to the tremors in the hands and best of all, some bit of balance so I don’t walk like the one that’s been on the bottle since early morning!

Throughout all this, I came in contact with an organisation called Brain Tumour Ireland (BTI) who have been unreal. There to steer you in the direction for help and advice, random check-ins just to make sure you’re doing ok and mostly not in your face but yet ever-present with support.

Why do I want to do this concert in June?

Simply because not everyone can wait for Christmas….

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