The Waterford branch of the High Hopes choir took to the stage on Sunday the 17th of June for what proved to be a wonderful evening of music and song. The ‘Evening of Choral Delights’ was held at St. Patrick’s Gateway Centre on Patrick’s hill and all donations went to Waterford’s Helping Hands. The 1,100 year old church, which is now a community centre, was the perfect setting for the High Hopes Choir and their guests from Texas, the First United Methodist Church Choir.
Established in 2014 by former RTE Concert Orchestra conductor David Brophy the aim of the High Hopes Choir is to highlight and to change perceptions of homelessness in Ireland. As well as bringing people together through music and song the choir also helps to raise funds for services and facilities such as Focus Ireland, Tintean Housing, and McGuire house in Waterford. The choir’s membership includes customers and some staff of theses services, most whom have suffered through difficult times in their lives. Bringing together people who have experienced homelessness, mental health issues and other health difficulties, the choir sees itself as a ‘unique family’ of varied community members who have come together to help and support one another. Beginning originally with a branch in Dublin and Waterford, there is now also a branch in Cork.
On the evening of the 17th the High Hopes Choir were about 20 strong and included a full rhythm section. They opened their set with ‘Let it Be’ by The Beatles and had their audience singing and toe tapping right from the get go. As the night went on different choir members took centre stage for their own solo performances. Combined with the choral songs of the First United Methodist Church Choir the night boasted a great range of musical diversity. There is no doubt that the High Hopes Choir will grow bigger and stronger into the future and we wish them eve success as they do.
Compiled by Tús Community Event Reporter, David Smyth 22nd June 2018