World Mental Health Week ‘Catch a Choir Day’ event in Ballincollig 14th October 2017

In recognition of World Mental Health Month, Ceol na Laoi-Ballincolligs’ Community Choir, in collaboration with the West Cork Big Sing Project will be staging an event to celebrate and promote singing as an activity that enhances community well-being on Saturday 14th October .

Local community choirs will be performing in a number of venues around Ballincollig, providing an opportunity for the groups to share their songs and visibly demonstrate the benefits of participation to the wider community.

We are delighted to be hosting the Voices of Cork, the Westgate Choir and the West Cork BIG SING! Choir alongside Ceol na Laoi. The participating venues are: Castle West Shopping Centre (various times); Ballincollig Library (2.30pm and 3.30pm); Nosh and Coffee Cafe (4pm); and The Plaza Bistro in Times Square (2.30pm). These times are approximate and all the choirs will start off singing together at 2pm in Castle West Shopping Centre.

So whilst you are out and about in the town centre on the afternoon of Saturday 14th between 2-4.30pm, try and CATCH A CHOIR and enjoy some fabulous singing!

Programme for Catch a choir day(2)



The West Cork BIG SING! project supports a new Community Singing Group for Lisheens House, Skibbereen October 2017


Being around music can bring warmth into a cold day, more joy into your heart, and provide a great environment in which to relax and de-stress. Lisheens House is a fantastic project with the aim of preventing suicide and self harm. In their new premises beside the West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen, they have opened a new Music Library where people can come and relax, listen to CD’s – or even try out playing one of the instruments in the room!

In acknowledgement and awareness of the benefits music brings to each individual we have decided to team up and create time for Community Singing as a weekly activity at the Centre on Wednesdays from 3-5pm.

The idea behind this new group activity is to provide a space where ANYONE over 18 years can come along and enjoy singing with others, regardless of experience, in a safe and non-judgemental space. It is a place where you can meet others, have fun, learn a few new songs and maybe share a few you already know, try things out…. or even come and simply enjoy listening if you don’t feel like joining in! We will also share a cup of tea together following the session, creating the time to get to know one another over time.

Please do spread the word and come and join us.

Singing poster

Workshops in Naas August 2017

Here’s a Short video of my first visit to Naas working with a mixed group of around forty in this beautiful restored church. I met many singers, songwriters and community leaders during my two day stay and enjoyed the workshop sessions, as well as exploring the locality and a trip to the pub for some music in the evening. The concept of a BIG SING! project aiming to bring different groups together in the area proved to be popular and developing this potential with this community will be included into my next visit.

The video provides a quick glimpse of the variety of activities I can bring into a session, and includes facilitating topical discussions and networking.

Big thanks to John O’Neill for taking the time to produce this video, to Trina Hanlan from Connect Community Group for hosting (and her family for welcoming me into their home), and Kildare Co. Council for funding my visit.

I look forward to returning again soon.


Return to the Fireflies! September 2017

About ten years ago I was playing with the fabulous Ruti Lachs (accordian) and Fiona Ashley (clarinet and flute) in a band under the name of The Fireflies. Great foot-stomping and waltzing Klezmer (Jewish wedding music) with a few Gypsy tunes thrown in for good measure. Friday last, I had the pleasure of playing with them once more in the market in Clonakilty….and oh what fun we had!! Let’s hope there’s more to come!

We three

Acapellabella to sing at Drimoleague Singing Festival for Culture Night – Friday 22nd September 2017

Acapellabella will be singing for an evening concert on Friday 22nd September at 6pm. We will be encouraging as much participation from the audience as is willing for a few songs as we share a selection of uplifting songs from various backgrounds and cultures. A great night to be had for sure!!

A Capella Bella June 2015

To check out the full programme of the weekend click here: