A secular community singing initiative is looking to attract towns across Galway to sign up to its fun and inclusive movement over the coming weeks.
The One Town One Voice initiative aims to create community singing groups with Irish people and people from other countries.
The goal is to use communal singing to bring people together regardless of nationality, and to enhance community integration and build closer communities.
Founded by Graham Clifford, who also established the Sanctuary Runner movement, One Town One Voice is modelled on the success of a group in Cork.
The Fermoy International Choir in Cork has welcomed over 200 members from across 35 countries since it started in 2019, and has helped enhance community integration in the town where 23 percent of locals are originally from another country.
They have had singers from Ireland, South Africa, Estonia, Iran, South Korea, Germany, USA, Brazil, Lithuania, French Polynesia, the Netherlands, China, Portugal, Antigua, the UK, France, Ukraine, Poland, Italy, and the Czech Republic, among others.
Graham Clifford said that ‘the fun, craic, social nights out, the bonding, and the offshoot activities have all been amazing’ and that the group has energised the area.
He now hopes that more towns will become involved.
“It’s a lovely initiative and can be so impactful. Our towns are now more culturally diverse and we must ensure everyone feels part of their towns so that they can contribute and enjoy being part of an Irish community,” said Graham.
“We want people in towns across Galway and beyond who feel this is something which could work in their town to contact us.
“We’ll help with a little seed funding and provide a musical advisor to get them going.
“We want to establish One Voice Singers in towns, villages and communities right across Ireland.”
The One Town One Voice initiative is funded by the Tomar Trust – a philanthropic trust based in North Cork founded by the recently departed Dr Tom Cavanagh who was passionate about community integration.
It is hoped that each summer a festival will be held in Fermoy bringing together participating One Town One Voice groups from across the country to perform together.
To find out more or nominate your town as one of those to start a One Voice Singers group just email email@example.com