Home News Community Debut Performance of new Laois Community Choir and Intergenerational Day in Portlaoise...

Debut Performance of new Laois Community Choir and Intergenerational Day in Portlaoise Parish Centre July

Age Friendly Laois have joined forces with LOETB Community Education, Music Generation Laois, Portlaoise Family Resource Centre and Youthwork Ireland Laois to deliver two intergenerational projects: Laois Community Choir and Laois Intergenerational Day.

Laois Community Choir will give their debut performance on Thursday, July 18, in the new outdoor performance space on the grounds of Laois Music Centre.

The initiative began with a pilot phase in May, and is running weekly in both Laois Music Centre and Portlaoise Family Resource Centre, under the direction of Nuala Kelly and a team of musicians from Music Generation Laois.

The response has been amazing, with over 160 members rocking up and singing their hearts out from the very first session.

The choir quickly reached capacity with a broad range of ages and a diverse cross-section of the community taking part.

The pilot phase of the Laois Community Choir will culminate in a performance at the brand new outdoor performance space, on the grounds of Laois Music Centre in the Old Fort Cultural Quarter on Thursday, July 18 at 7pm, free admission, all welcome.

The Community Choir look forward to sharing the joy of singing with an audience at their big debut with Nuala Kelly noting:

“We are blown away by the response and didn’t anticipate such large numbers, it’s wonderful. The atmosphere is amazing, there’s a real sense of community – people just want to sing.”

Gillian Cunningham, LOETB Community Education Facilitator said:

“At LOETB Community Education, we believe in the transformative power of education and the arts to bring people together.

“This venture is a testament to our commitment to fostering community connections and creating inclusive spaces where everyone can participate and thrive.

“The Community Choir not only provides a platform for musical expression but also strengthens bonds across different age groups, enriching the social fabric of Laois.

“These moments of connection are what community education is all about—bringing people together, breaking down barriers, and celebrating our shared humanity.”

Joan Bolger of Portlaoise Family Resource Centre added “It’s great that the choir is an expression of the inclusiveness of the Portlaoise Community and of interagency partnerships in Laois.

“To have such diversity and energy in the rehearsal room is energising. New friendships are being made over the cuppa at the break and the smiles and laughs throughout rehearsals.

“Nuala led the choir in a warm friendly way that brings out the best in everyone. This is what community development and family support is all about.”

Paul Donnelly of Portlaoise Family Resource Centre concluded “Choirs are hugely beneficial for people’s mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

“They offer a sense of belonging and community coupled with pure enjoyment and fun. It is fantastic to see the interest, commitment and joy in this 8 week pop up choir and in the Autumn, we hope to harness that energy and see it evolve into a more permanent choir that will provide an outlet for the musical passion of people in Portlaoise and the wider Laois community.”

On Friday, July 19, Age Friendly Laois and Youthwork Ireland Laois are joining forces to host an intergenerational day in Portlaoise Parish centre

Laois Intergenerational Day will bring together members of Comhairle na nÓg and older people from Laois and see generations coming together to discuss current topics, attitudes towards age groups and any other matters that the group raise.

The aim of the day is to bridge the generational gap, to challenges perceptions and stereotypes and most of all to bring ages together.

Some of the benefits of intergenerational work include the creation of age friendly communities, the tackling of issues around stereotyping and ageism and the fostering of respect and understanding.

Clive Davis of Youth Work Ireland Laois is looking forward to the day, noting:

“The intergenerational work with Age Friendly Laois and Youth Work Ireland Laois is so important. It brings together people of all ages to learn from each other and to build relationships.

“This work helps to break down stereotypes and to create a more inclusive community.”

Rosemary Kunene of Comhairle na nÓg added that “We are delighted to host an intergenerational event with Age Friendly Laois.

“It would be amazing to see how the two generations interact with each other and help each other to challenge assumptions and prejudices about the older and young people, therefore, improving intergenerational relationships.“

Tom Curran of Age Friendly Laois stated that “historically, younger people have always learned from their elders but with busy lives, and with more communication tools that ever, perhaps we have lost the opportunity to have the face to face communications with each other than before.”

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