In this blog, Conor Heffernan tells us about being inside the Sing and Shine Project (a health, wellbeing project developed by Aspiro which took place in Carlow).
Like all great things, for me, the Sing and Shine project started small and grew into someting huge. Our musical director in school told us in choir about this ‘far off in the future concert’ , that would aim to promote mental health awareness. But it had a twist. This project was like none other. It did not fit the mould. Instead of simply telling people the importance of mental health, this project would be living, breathing, singing proof of the positive effect of song. Over two hundred people from Carlow would collaborate on stage in a powerful exhibition of the beneficial effects of music.
Naturally, I was very excited for the planning and preperation to come to life. Along the way we had the opportunity to work with an artist. He turned the positive vibes from our singing into a breathtaking art work. We also had the pleasure of working with a mental health professional, who deepened our understanding of not only mental health, but also the power of music and all it can provide. After each of these workshops, I always left with a smile.
Being in a choir, I naturally have a passion for music. Singing is always something I enjoy, yet this seemed different. This project seemed more than just singing. The lyrics of the songs, and the multitude of voices that sung each one, held such power. The positivity and joy could be felt in each rehearsal and most of all, when it came to the final day, I could feel a resounding positivity on stage. It was truly awe-inspiring.
To realise something was special when you look back on it in hindsight is commonplace, but to realise you are a part of something special as it unfolds around you is truly unique, and as soon as this project began, I knew I was privelleged to be a part of something special. For that I am, and always will be, grateful, proud and truly happy.