Bishop Willie Walsh joined the ‘Forever Young’ choir six months ago.
So far the twenty five strong group, accompanied by a pianist, have just made local appearances, at a senior citizens conference in Ennis, and at a parish social.
“Our agent is not busy!” Bishop Walsh told ciNews.
But all that may change, after their hour long lunchtime concert yesterday at a nightclub in Dublin.
Up to 100 students from the National College of Art and Design turned up to hear the choir perform golden oldies like “When the saints go marching in,” “Forever young,” “Swing low” and “Drunken sailor” as part of a project contrasting the cultures of the young and the old.
Bishop Willie, who was never in a choir in his life, joined 'Forever Young' at the invitation of a few friends. “It is great fun and good for the soul as well as the mind,” he said. “I was told when I was five or six that I couldn’t sing. Some think I still can’t sing!” Asked if he would think of forming a choir with the other bishops, he replied: “I don’t think anybody would be likely to imitate me.”
Yesterday’s concert in the Sin club came about through Dr Ciara McMahon, whose father is in the choir, and who is completing a degree in the National College of Art and Design (NCAD).
“The project contrasts young club culture with older people and folk music. My idea was to bring the two cultural types together and contrast them,” she told ciNews. “We are questioning ageism. Normally a nightclub would not have older people in it. Why is there segregation around age?”
Yesterday’s event began with a group of actors clubbing to regular night club music.
Then Forever Young , sang for an hour.
This was followed by a question and answer session between the students and the choir members, focussing in particular on their political voice.
A number of the questions were addressed to Bishop Willie Walsh.
The entire event was filmed and will be on display to the public in the NCAD for the first two weeks in June.
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