7 June 2019 - This Sunday, six singing groups, representing six Direct Provision centres, will share a celebration of their work in the National Concert Hall. The Singers have come together as a part of the Song Seeking Project (funded by the Creative Ireland Programme) to form intergenerational singing groups through a partnership between Sing Ireland, the Irish Refugee Council and Mary Immaculate College. The groups have been busy preparing with expert choral facilitators and will be joined on the day by community choirs and guest performers, Citadel.

See RTÉ News report here

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD

“I am delighted that this project has been supported as part of the Creative Ireland Programme’s National Creativity Fund. Participation for all in creative activities is a cornerstone of the Programme and if it is to have real impact across our communities nationwide, it is vital that we support projects like these.”

Dr Ailbhe Kenny, Lecturer in Music Education at Mary Immaculate College, UL and Project lead

“The Song Seeking project gives voice both in the literal sense through actual group singing, but also metaphorically, where voices represent distinct selves and communities. Through participatory research and practice methods, the project provides new, open and inclusive spaces to hear these voices through cross-cultural musical interaction. Today, the ‘Big Sing: A shared celebration’ marks the culmination of the shared singing experiences of the last six months where we invite all to sing, share stories and celebrate this special event together.”

Rosey Kunene, Emo choir singer

“I am really looking forward to the Big Sing this Sunday. I enjoyed getting involved in the choir. It had a great feeling of togetherness and singing helped me control my stress levels.”

Mary Amond, Choral Facilitator

“I loved being a part of this! It has been a new experience for me as a choral director, one where I have been the student as much as I have been the teacher/facilitator.  I just love when this happens as part of my work. As Michael Angelo said ‘I Am Still Learning’.”

Norbert Nkengurutse, Citadel

“Citadel is a great way for us to share our culture through world music. It is our pillar of integration and a weapon against stress and depression while living in Direct Provision.”

Zovi Zoni, Citadel

“Performing in NCH makes me feel Irish inside. I want to feel Irish outside too.”

Simon Taylor, CEO, National Concert Hall

“Singing is the most universal form of music-making, an individual and communal self-expression that transcends borders, nationality, race and creed. The National Concert Hall is delighted to be a partner in this project that celebrates – through music and singing – our shared common humanity.”

Dr Kenny concluded

“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.”

- ENDS -

Notes to Editor
Big Sing: A Shared Celebration event details and booking options:

“‘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 is 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. Research throughout the process and from multiple perspectives is integral to the project.  The project is a cross-agency collaboration between Mary Immaculate College (MIC), Sing Ireland (SI) and the Irish Refugee Council (IRC).

Citadel are musicians who live in the Kinsale Road Direct Provision centre. They make music to create awareness (and to have some fun) and play music and rhythms from their home countries, Burundi, South Africa, Algeria, Bangladesh, India, Ukraine and Russia. A grassroots organisation, International Community Dynamics, started collecting guitars for people in Direct Provision two years ago.  This led to a World Music day in the Bull Mc Cabes on Kinsale Road and now the National Concert Hall. Norbert Nkengurutse and Roos Demol are the co-founders of International Community Dynamics and Citadel.

The Creative Ireland Programme is a culture-based programme, all of Government initiative which places creativity at the centre of public policy, and is designed to promote individual, community and national wellbeing. The core proposition is that participation in cultural activity drives personal and collective creativity, with significant implications for individual and societal wellbeing and achievement. It is built around five pillars: Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child; Enabling Creativity in Every Community; Investing in our Creative and Cultural Infrastructure; Ireland as a Centre of Excellence in Media Production; Unifying our Global reputation. You can find out more here.

The National Creativity Fund enables the Creative Ireland Programme to activate, enable and support genuinely ground-breaking and innovative initiatives, research projects and community programmes, which have creativity and wellbeing at their centre. Through a series of strategic partnerships with cultural organisations, education and academic institutions and healthcare specialists, the selected projects are ambitious, innovative and inclusive and will help inform and implement the vision of the Creative Ireland Programme right across Government.

The National Concert Hall is a national cultural institution and the designated home of music in Ireland, hosting over 1,000 events each year. The NCH mission is to foster and celebrate the appreciation, knowledge, enjoyment and pure love of music as an integral part of Irish life.