Cork choir has high hopes of Eurovision success

Margaret Long from Passage West, who volunteers with Cork Penny Dinners and is a member of the choir, said that seeing a song of theirs performed on the Eurovision stage would be a dream come true
Cork choir has high hopes of Eurovision success

The High Hopes Choir want to be represented at the Eurovision Song Contest. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

THE woman behind a locally famed choir made up of Cork’s homeless and the volunteers who support them is determined to reignite their Eurovision dream with a song to rival the likes of Abba and Johnny Logan.

Caitríona Twomey previously spoke about how the Cork High Hopes Choir abandoned quests for Eurovision stardom after learning that choirs were unable to participate. This was due to the competition’s restriction of acts to solo performances and bands. The Eurovision hopefuls had been putting together a song under the mentorship of their musical director Fabrice Fortune.

While they had initially hoped to perform this as a potential entry for the Eurovision, Caitríona, who heads the soup kitchen charity, Cork Penny Dinners, said they would be open to presenting the piece for a well-known singer to perform when it reaches completion.

Margaret Long from Passage West, who volunteers with Cork Penny Dinners and is a member of the choir, said that seeing a song of theirs performed on the Eurovision stage would be a dream come true.

“We started the song a few years ago and were disillusioned when it didn’t go anywhere,” she said.

“Our musical director Fabrice Fortune had been working with us to come up with a few verses. He was able to tell us what worked against what didn’t sound right. When we found out that choirs weren’t able to perform we put it to the back of our minds. A lot of us in the choir would have grown up with the Eurovision. We all loved the idea of getting there someday.

“I would love to have a woman perform the song. I’m a huge fan of Niamh Kavanagh.”

Margaret said the highlight of her time with the choir was performing for the Pope.

 Caitriona Twomey, Cork Penny Dinners & High Hopes Choir.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Caitriona Twomey, Cork Penny Dinners & High Hopes Choir.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

“The Pope was only 15ft away from us. I could feel the hairs standing up on the back of our necks as we performed for him. I still pinch myself thinking about it. We were treated like royalty. It was really amazing.”

Meanwhile, the choir’s musical director, Fabrice Fortune said he would be interested in reworking the song, titled ‘My Time Will Come’ with the choir.

“We would love to rework the song or even write a new song. This was something that got shelved a few years ago and we would like to start working for that again. The process was a really nice experience for everyone involved. If we are doing it again I would like to have even more input from the choir members in the songwriting process.”

The choir was the subject of a three-part documentary called High Hopes which aired on RTÉ and was based on the lives of those touched by homelessness. The choirs, which also exist in Dublin and Waterford, were created by former principal conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, David Brophy.

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