Tag Archive | "Derry"

Nurse and patient dancing

Stroke Odysseys Chorus seeks singers and songwriters

Patient and Carer HugStroke Odysseys is a creative music and storytelling initiative for those living and working with stroke in Derry/Londonderry. Supported by City of Culture the project seeks to give a voice to stroke survivors, their families and carers. Their stories gathered over the past few months will inspire song and film to be presented in final performances on 4th and 5th November in the Playhouse, Derry/Londonderry. To help support the performances the project organisers, Rosetta Life, are calling for singers to be a part of a stroke chorus and songwriters to help write new songs. All involved will join stroke survivors in the final performance. This is an opportunity for everyone with an interest in raising awareness around the issues of people living with stroke to get involved. All abilities are welcome and there will be no need to read music.

Rosetta Life is an arts organisation based in Oxfordshire and has an international reputation for leading arts and health innovation. Their work aims to change the way we perceive those who live with life limiting illnesses through performances, film and writing projects. They show how these groups can fully contribute to cultural life and how important it is that their voices be heard.

Chris Rawlence from Rosetta Life says:

‘Stroke Odysseys is a musical exploration of the experience and feelings of all those touched by stroke – in their own words. One patient involved has told me that Stroke Odysseys has helped her find herself again when she had felt silenced by illness. As well as benefiting the participants, the show will have something to say to health professionals and the wider community of Derry-Londonderry.’ 

Nurse and patient dancingThe chorus will be directed by Sarah Murphy of Wall2Wall Music who has led a number of key community music projects during the City of Culture including At Sixes and Sevens and the Once in a Blue Moon Band. As well as singing chorus members will have the chance to get involved in song writing weekends to develop additional material for the final performance.

 

Sarah says:

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us all to show our support for the local stroke community. Most of us know someone who has been affected by stroke and I can think of no better way to show our support than by through music and song.”

The Stroke Odyssey Chorus will meet weekly on Thursdays from 7.30-9.30pm starting 3rd October. To register to take part in the Chorus click here or contact Sarah Murphy on 07811107065

Songwriters can take part in two creative weekends planned for 4th-6th and 11-13th October. To register for these weekends click here or contact Sarah Murphy on 07811107065.  

Everyone is welcome to participate in both the chorus and the creative weekends should they wish.

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performer pic

Once in a Blue Moon Band gets standing ovation in City of Culture

Once in a Blue Moon Band performers pic

Father and daughter, Paul and Laura Colgan

The Once in a Blue Moon band brought adult amateur musicians together to make a creative contribution to the City of Culture programme. Participants wrote new music and arranged tunes over a period of 2 weeks. The final performance took place on Sunday 8th September in the Playhouse Theatre, Derry/Londonderry and received a standing ovation from an enthusiastic audience.

The band included people from all walks of life aged 20-85, a number of whom who were playing instruments they had never had the opportunity to play before. The band also encouraged people who had played when they were younger to take their dusty instrument down from the shelf and get involved.

One participant was 85 year old Frank McLaughlin a violinist and singer who had professional experience when he was younger. Frank, a real local character, opened the show on the voice and took the lead on the violin throughout. Another Eddie Campbell, a retiree, wrote songs, played accordion and led the group in whistling his mash up of “Blue Moon” and “Always look on the bright side of life” as part of one of the songs.

Once in a Blue Moon Band performers pic

Frank McLaughlin

Wall2Wall Music Artistic Director, Sarah Murphy says:

“All of the participants brought their ideas, talents and positive energy which made the project a real highlight of my City of Culture. It was wonderful to see the packed audience cheering on their loved ones and moved to both laughter and tears by the emotional and comedic personal stories told through a journey of 10 musical moments”

The project was made possible by funds from the Big Lottery programme, Culture for All. It has been a very successful part of Wall2Wall Music’s contribution to the 2013 celebrations. Earlier in the year the company led the community engagement programme of the At Sixes and Sevens project. Future projects include Stoke Odyssey which gives stroke survivors and their family and carers a voice through music and film.

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