In 2014, David Brophy – a conductor of the RTE Concert Orchestra and well-versed in the positive power music can have, set out forming a choir comprised of people whose lives were impacted by homelessness. Today, that idea is an award-winning choir that has sung at both Electric Picnic and All Together Now Festivals, and has performed before the European Parliament in Brussels, Pope Francis in Croke Park and Michael D in Aras an Uachtarán.
But more than any of that, Waterford High Hopes Choir is about its members, the strength they give each other, the joy that singing gives them, and the community and sense of purpose the group inspires.
The Choir’s members come from the McGuire House Men’s Hostel, Focus Ireland, the Simon Community, Tintáin and the Oasis Women’s Refuge and together they meet once a week at St. Patrick’s Gateway in Waterford City to catch up with each other, solve the world’s woes over a cup of tea and sing beautifully together.
The choir will use their Lottery funding to travel and perform in Letterkenny, an event postponed from the onset of Covid. For many members it will be their first time to Donegal, a trip totally made possible by the power of people coming together to do something positive in the community.
As well as touring the northwest, appearing at festivals and entertaining the rich and famous, the High Hopes Choir do amazing work in the Community by singing in schools, nursing homes and other community functions. Some of the members give talks about the effects of homelessness, addiction and mental health. As homelessness in Ireland creeps over 9,000, over a quarter of whom are children – the work of the Waterford High Hopes Choir is so important, and we at the National Lottery Good Causes are very proud to be associated with such an inspiring collection of people.