DAMS secure two awards at Navan Choral Festival

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A MEN’S choir, whose members range in age from 65 to 72, scooped up two awards at the Navan Choral Festival this month.

The Dominic’s Active Men’s Social (DAMS) Vocal Ensemble, who are based in the Dominic’s Community Centre in Avonbeg, was set up in 2016 and currently has nine members.

DAMS 1

The talented choir won the Navan Choral Festival Male Voice Perpetual Cup and the Spirit of Navan Festival Award at this year’s Navan Choral Festival, which was held on May 6 in the Co Meath town.

Glenview man Dermot Halligan (71), who sings in the DAMS Vocal Ensemble, told The Echo: “We were elated, shocked and very humbled when we won the two awards.

“We were absolutely delighted. We couldn’t get over it, given the fact that we didn’t think we would even reach the panel [of the competition].”

Mr Halligan added that the choir has had a positive impact on its members, some of whom have health issues, and he also praised the work of ensemble’s musical director Cara Davey.

Ms Davey (24), who is from Millbrook Lawns in Tallaght and works as a secondary school music and religion teacher, told The Echo: “To have an all-male choir is extremely unique, especially when it’s men of a certain age – the men really enjoy what they’re doing.”

Explaining how she felt when the choir won two awards, Ms Davey said: “I couldn’t believe it. I was very overwhelmed, but of course I was very proud and delighted.

“They really did an excellent job – the lads gave it their all.”

The DAMS Vocal Ensemble is a subsidiary of the Dominic’s Active Men’s Social group, who meet weekly in order to have a social outlet for older men in the area aged 55 and up.

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