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Songs of Sanctuary in Tulla

KEEPING spirits up in challenging times is the aim two special, socially-distanced concerts coming up in Tulla next week.

One Tuesday and Thursday, September 15 and 17, during Culture Week, Songs of Sanctuary will take place at St Peter and Paul’s Church.

What we want to do is to give people an opportunity to dress up and come out for the evening,” said one of the organisers, Joan McNamara. “While many of us involved are members of the Tulla Parish Choir, this isn’t a night of religious music. We’re grateful for the use of the church, because we need the space for social distancing. We have five wonderful singers who have picked two songs each and we five musicians. Our singers have picked songs from the likes of Christy Moore, Ennio Morricone, Christy Hennessy, Kate Rusby and more.”

The Songs of Sanctuary idea has its origins in the weeks of the lockdown when Joan and fellow singers wanted to show their solidarity with those who had to cocoon. “We decided to hold a couple of outdoor concerts for senior citizens,” she explained. “We sang up at Áras Mhuire because we wanted to do something to lift people’s spirits. Residents were able to watch us from their doors. We managed to perform a couple of times, and would like to have done more, but were limited a bit by the weather. Then we came up with the idea of holding concerts in the church. We have Edel Hogan, Tim Humphries and Cindy Reavey who are really artistic and have organised the lighting and slide-shows for us, so the church looks amazing. The hope now is that we would be able to continue the concerts into the winter and change the programme so that there’s variety for people.”

The Songs of Sanctuary concerts are free-of-charge, but donation boxes will be in place to collect money for Clare Haven.

To comply with public health guidelines, audience numbers are strictly limited to 35 at each event and tickets must be booked in advance. Bookings can be made by contacting Siobhán on 087-2356124. Face coverings are recommended.

Doors open at 7.45pm, with concerts beginning at 8pm.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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