High Hopes choir to perform alongside Hothouse Flowers in special charity concert

All profits from the event will be used to provide Christmas dinner for homeless people in Clare on December 25.

High Hopes choir to perform alongside Hothouse Flowers in special charity concert

Cork Penny Dinners' High Hopes Choir will perform alongside the Hothouse Flowers in a special concert to raise money for homeless people this Christmas.

Catriona Twomey of Cork Penny Dinners said: “There's such heart in our choir. Something happens when you sing. Music is a great medium.”

The High Hopes Choir, which has recorded with many of Ireland's music greats, including Bono, Christy Moore, Snow Patrol and Kodaline, will join the Hothouse Flowers and other artists at a concert in Glór events centre in Ennis.

All profits from the event will be used to provide Christmas dinner for homeless people in Clare on December 25.

"We'd have said yes to the invitation anyway, but when we heard that the Hothouse Flowers were playing too we were even more enthusiastic," Catriona said with a smile.

The 35 High Hopes singers will be joined by honorary members, Cork singer Hank Wydell and musicians Sarah Ryan and Clare Sands.

Two garda buses will transport the choir up to Ennis for their star turn.

Catriona said: "Garda Ken O'Brien sings with the choir and Garda Tony Kelleher plays drums. The input from those two guards has been brilliant. We wouldn't be able to do it without them."

For some lads they've only been in handcuffs around guards before, so it's great to be chatting to them and singing with them now, it shows them that even if they do something wrong, if they work with the gardaí, they'll work with them too. They see them as people now.

“I've seen the benefits of their involvement big time," Catriona said.

Garda Ken O'Brien said: “People at Penny Dinners at first look at you in uniform, but over time, they mellow and have the craic with you. They can look at you through the uniform. I tell them to give me a ring anytime about anything — I want to be their friend."

"Glór is a huge occasion, it's a very big concert. We're going up early for a rehearsal before the concert. The choir is very uplifting for people. A lot of people in the choir can be quiet, but singing brings them out of themselves. And there's a buzz with it. The choir gets you out of your comfort zone. And you have a chat afterwards too, it's very sociable."

The choir has a packed schedule, singing concerts to raise awareness about homelessness in Coachford, County Cork on Tuesday, and in Griffins Garden Centre in Dripsey on December 22.

And the Hothouse Flowers are not the only megastars of Irish music that Penny Dinners will rub shoulders with this Christmas.

A group are travelling to see Christy Moore play in Charleville this week.

Catriona said: "We're going down to Christy Moore next week in the two garda buses. It's a treat for them, to get them out and about."

- Tickets for the Clare Christmas Concert with special guests Hothouse Flowers are €22/€20 with concession and are available at glor.ie or email boxoffice@glor.ie for group bookings.

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