Sea of Change choir sings in the European Parliament as part of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan

By Aideen O'Flaherty

WATCH:

A CHOIR set up by and for women who are cancer survivors and who support people with cancer gave a show-stopping performance of The Greatest Showman’s ‘This Is Me’ in the European Parliament last week as part of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan conference.

Their outstanding performace won them a standing ovation from parliament members and was viewed by thousands of people on social media.

Sea of Change PHOTO Liz 2 compressor

The choir performed an amazing rendition of ‘This is Me’ from the Greatest Showman

At the time of going to print the video received 34 thousand views on The Echo Facebook page alone.

The Sea of Change choir is made up of a host of talented women, including Lucan ladies Leyla Simsek, Lesley Finnegan and Antoinette Cosgrave, Citywest’s Suzin Staunton, Tallaght women Barbara Doyle Kelly, Linda Doyle Flood, Anna-Marie Breen and Audrey Brown, and Crumlin’s Lorraine Redmond.

Their performance at the parliament isn’t the first time the choir has stunned an audience, as their performance on Ireland’s Got Talent went viral last year, and they also regularly perform at charity events for a number of noble causes, including for the Irish Cancer Society, the RNLI and Aoibheann’s Pink Tie, to name but a few.

The choir are also actively helping to improve the mental health of primary school children across the country.

Last summer they started a schools project that rolled out to 15 schools across Ireland to promote mental health awareness, body image and inclusion.

The children were invited to sing ‘This Is Me’ in a recording studio which was rolled out this January and presented to each school.

Sea of Change from Audrey compressor

They are pictured with MEP Mairead McGuinness

Leyla Simsek from the Sea of Change choir told The Echo: “The choir offers support, and we empower each other. There are opportunities I’ve had that I never would’ve dreamt of when I first joined the choir.

“Other people reach out to us after they see us perform, and we in turn support them. We want to show that there is life after cancer.”

The women were invited to the European Parliament last week, where EU delegates were treated to the Sea of Change choir’s uplifting performance, and this had a particular resonance for Leyla.

“It was unbelievable,” she said. “It felt personal, because my father was Turkish and we always used to argue about whether Turkey would join the EU or not.

Sea of Change from Audrey 2 compressor

Sea of Change Choir were invited to The European Parliament as part of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan conference.

“He has passed away, but when I was walking through the parliament, I felt like I was walking hand-in-hand with him.

“It was very emotional, and we were representing Ireland when we were there. As Mná na hÉireann we fly the flag for all women.”

When asked about the positive reaction the choir’s performance has received online, Leyla said: “In general, when we do things like this, we don’t realise the impact until people come to us about it afterwards.

“I feel really proud and privileged to be in the Sea of Change choir, and to know that we can make a difference to the lives of people who have gone through cancer.”

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