A Cork choir has released a song of unity and defiance during what is an uncertain time for Culture Night 2020.
The Fermoy International Choir released the unique recording of the Simon and Garfunkel classic 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' and a powerful video of raw portraits to signify the emergence from Covid-19 to a bright and unified future.
The choir which was established in January last year has members from Ireland, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Belarus, Lithuania, Italy, Portugal, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Germany, the UK, Nigeria, South Africa, French Polynesia, China, the Philippines, Romania, Ukraine, Finland and Brazil.
Conducted by Lisa Dunphy, the choir has brought people together to sing, get to know each other and develop close friendships in a town where 23% of the population are not of Irish nationality.
The decision to record the song was to signify that as long as people stick together in unity and respect, that we can be that bridge to overcome Covid-19.
A representative group of the choir rehearsed while social distancing outdoors and recorded the track in the Blackwater Studios in the local parish of Glanworth.
Lead soloists were Vincenzo Pennone, from Naples, who works in the nearby Moorepark Agricultural Research centre and Kasia Sosnowska, from the Polish city of Lodz, who runs a café in the town.
Graham Clifford of the Together Ireland project which helped establish the choir said: “We were all astonished to hear the final recording. We think it's sensational and full of emotion at this difficult time. Some of our members have lost loved ones over recent months, others are so far from home and can't return while others still are being especially careful because of Covid-19 and it's been tough on people so our song was chosen to lift spirits and to offer hope,” he said.
The song and video will feature on a virtual Culture Night in Fermoy on the evening of Friday, September 18.
The Fermoy International Choir came about as an initiative of the Together Ireland project which enables and encourages community integration in towns and communities across Ireland.