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CITY TRIBUNE

Choir to light up New York

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New York-bound: the IGNITE Gospel Choir.

By Ciara Ferguson

A Galway Gospel Choir has been invited to sing in Carnegie Hall in New York City next year – but to get there, they need to secure notes of the non-musical kind!

Because the IGNITE Gospel Choir have set a target of €33,000 to fund the experience of a lifetime when they participate in a performance of ‘Handel’s Messiah’ for the Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) Concert Series in December 2019.

DCINY is the leading producer of dynamically charged musical excellence, with a global community of artists and audiences and empowering educational programs.

Keara McDonald, director and founder of IGNITE Gospel Choir said she is both “delighted and terrified,” about the performance, but that it is a “great honour” to be selected.

IGNITE were scouted online by DCINY and invited to audition.

“It’s not something we looked for,” Keara said, “we’re a community gospel choir.”

They used a clip from their YouTube channel as their audition piece.

Dr Jonathan Griffith, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for DCINY said: “IGNITE Gospel Choir Galway received this invitation because of the quality and level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers.”

“These wonderful musicians not only represent a high quality of music and education, but they also become ambassadors for the entire community,” he said.

They will join choirs from all over the world, but they are the only choir participating from Ireland on this occasion and the only choir from Galway ever to participate in the annual event.

Keara originally set up IGNITE Gospel Choir because she felt that there was a “gap in the market for people to express themselves through song.”

She has a ‘no audition’ policy because she believes it’s “not about having a great singing ability,” but about “blending” everyone together to create “one voice.”

She described them as a “wonderful, vibrant choir” who have earned over €130,000 for charities and have performed for numerous events.

These include busking in the Christmas Market for an hour and raising €430 for Cancer Care West, performing on Mental Health Day at St. Nicholas’ Church and the Their Lives Matter Ball.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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