Lynn Cahill at Christ Church Cathedral managed to set up a very special mini concert festival for the new Spraoi in the Park event on the Saturday. Waterford Omagh Peace Choir was a truly wonderful evening with lots of happiness, gospel songs, sad songs, songs of peace and reconciliation and some life stories of a choir who came together out of tragedy, to share the bountiful beauty of our world.
Arriving at the cathedral, there was a new sense of expectancy to see a small stage, a battery of mic stands, some heavy duty amplification and lots of lights. Disco beams spiralled on the ceiling and there was backlighting for the twenty-five-strong young choir.
Perhaps there was a little too much chat from the conductor, guitarist Phil Brennan, but where the music flowed it was high heaven and glorious. Lots of lovely voices and Lesley Caldwell was amazing on Lord, There Are Times.
Kate O’Neill, daughter of Cllr. Cha O’Neill, rocked the pillars with a stunning Shackles.
As dusk fell softly after the interval, the lighting effects were beautiful and Pat Fitzgerald processed down the centre aisle, playing some haunting sax music. An Our Father had a fine simplicity as the choir drifted into a beautiful Through It All.
Lights Of The City was a happy clappy showstopper before Ashleigh Keane had the audience in raptures for Amazing Love. A trio added to the impact was an amazingly tender Dante’s Prayer.
Lesley Caldwell was pure gold for an emotional Over The Rainbow and Paul Hughes and Phil Brennan drove home the message with an achingly fine One.
This was a night to remember, in an exciting weekend for Waterford, where Spraoi reclaimed the People’s Park and Waterford Omagh Peace Choir brought us deep within our hearts and entertained us with love.