Choir has massive impact

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A LADIES’ choir, consisting of members who are cancer survivors and supporters, took to the Ireland’s Got Talent stage on Saturday night and blew the audience and judges away – and secured a golden buzzer, meaning they’re going straight through to the semi-finals of the competition.

The 45-strong group, who range in age from 24 to 70, gave a powerful rendition of ‘This Is Me’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’ on the Virgin Media TV show, and gave a stunning ending to the performance when a number of the choir members stripped off in a showing of body confidence.

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The Sea of Change choir was set up recently by Deirdre Featherstone, and most of the members were previously involved in the world’s largest skinny dip, called Dip in the Nip, in aid of cancer charities.

Over €500,000 was raised for children’s cancer charity Aoibheann’s Pink Tie as a result of the skinny dip, and a number of women involved in the fundraising event then banded together to start the choir.

Tymon North woman Barbara Kelly, who is in the choir with her sister Linda Flood, told The Echo: “I got involved with the choir because Linda had breast cancer, so we got involved with some cancer support groups.

“Being in the choir has had a massive impact on us, I had huge body issues and Linda has had a mastectomy.”

Barbara was one of the women who stripped off during the grand finale of the performance, and she said she did it because she wanted her sister to know that she would “do anything for her”.

Describing her nerves before she went on stage, Barbara said: “I was like, ‘What am I after getting myself into?’

“But once we got started, I couldn’t let the girls down. And when it was done, it was so liberating.”

Barbara added: “We didn’t expect to get the golden buzzer, we thought that if we got three yeses we’d be thrilled. We never thought for one minute that we’d get the golden buzzer.”

Balrothery woman Marie McGovern, who is in the choir with her daughter Glenda, has supported a number of family members who had cancer.

Explaining what it was like when she was onstage, Marie said: “We were very nervous, but the feeling when we got on stage was lovely. The audience was brilliant.”

When judge Denise van Outen pressed the golden buzzer, Marie said that it “was overwhelming, I didn’t expect it in a million years.

“We are all really excited and really looking forward to the semi-finals.

“The feeling and the emotion of being in the choir…you’re crying and laughing at the same time.”

The next show in the series will be on Virgin Media One on Saturday, February 9, at 7.30pm.


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