Christmas concerts aim to raise €17,000 for local charities

A Galway woman aims to raise €17,000 for three local charities by organising four Christmas family concerts in the city.

Keara Sheeran says the concerts, titled “The Gift”, will raise vital funds for the local Abalta school for children with autism, the Galway Hospice and Sli Eile, the Jesuit centre for young adults which provides avenues to explore spirituality, justice and community.

The events will take place on December 18 at 8pm at St Joseph’s Church, Presentation Road in aid of Abalta, on December 20 and 21 at 7.30pm at the Jesuit Church, Sea Road in aid of Sli Eile and the Galway Hospice respectively and on December 22 at 8pm at the Salthill Hotel in aid of Abalta.

“The concerts are family events,” says Keara, who works at Boston Scientific. “They are wonderful Christmas events which tell the story of Christ’s birth in a lively Gospel style that has all the essence of Christmas through it. There are over 100 singers from all over Galway city and county that have signed up and have been rehearsing since October 18. A lot of hard work has gone into it and support from all is greatly appreciated.”

Ms Sheeran is the musical director of two gospel choirs in the city, the Jesuit (for over 18s ) and King’s Kids (for over sevens ) choirs. Both are accepting new members. She plays music at Renmore, St Joseph’s and the Jesuit Churches. She also has a soul/funk party band called The Soul Monkeys.

“This year I amalgamated the two choirs and invited members of the community to join them in what I believe will be very special Christmas concerts. The events are wonderful candelit experiences for families to give Christmas back its tangible feel of magic and awe. The season is not all to do with shopping and hype and I’d love as many family members to feel this is something they can do together. I did this concert 20 years ago with my dad - I was the child soloist and he was the male adult soloist and the experience enriched our relationship and gave us something special.”

The local concerts are the start of a busy period for the Galway woman. “There are numerous events that are coming up, for example the Jes gospel choir has been invited to sing for the prisoners at Mountjoy Prison and also to take part in Ireland’s first gospel choir festival next May.”

Tickets costing €10 are on sale from the Galway Hospice, the Jesuit office from Eileen (091 ) 523707 and from Keara Sheeran at (087 ) 9007003.


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