West Cork lifted by the power of song

Posted on: 10th October, 2016

Category: Features

Contributor: Mary O'Brien

ABOVE: Clinical Nurse Specialist Kevin O’Shanahan pictured with the Gamelan. Pic: Tomasz Madajczak

Depression affects one in ten people in Ireland at any one time and there are many aspects of mental health that can leave people feeling helpless and isolated in the community. This is why an all-inclusive event such as the West Cork Feel Good festival has become such an important date on the West Cork calendar says Mary O’Brien.

Running primarily in Bantry and Skibbereen from October 10 to 15 during World Mental Health Week and promoting a variety of community-based activities that contribute to wellbeing, with music at the forefront, the Feel Good festival invites participation from everyone in West Cork.

Singing priest Liam Lawton, broadcaster Evelyn Grant and world-renowned musician Mel Mercier will headline the programme of events, which will also see the launch of an exciting new initiative – The West Cork Gamelan Ensemble.

The West Cork Gamelan Ensemble was commissioned by MusicAlive and West Cork Mental Services, with specialist advice from Dr, Mel Mercier, who will also officially launch the project in Skibbereen on World Mental Health Day, October 10.

This ensemble aims to facilitate a range of inclusive workshops, performances and other encounters with a special set of musical instruments (such as cymbals, chimes and gongs), known collectively as a gamelan orchestra. The Gamelan has been proven to increase self-confidence and motivation in participants, as well as teamworking and communication skills.

A performance-based ensemble will begin weekly rehearsals in Skibbereen from Wednesday, October 19, from 7-8pm, and is open to all adults over the age of 18. Gamelan specialist, Kevin McNally from the University College Cork Gamelan and West Cork Ukulele Orchestra will lead the weekly rehearsals, which promise an engaging, educational and enjoyable musical adventure!

This exciting initiative could not have happened without the additional support from Cork Arts and Health programme, Music Dept at UCC, The Cope Foundation, Cork Education and Training Board and the Arts Office at Cork County Council.

Singing has also been proven to generate a sense of positive mood, happiness and enjoyment. Such positive feelings also counteract feelings of stress or anxiety and help to distract people from internal negative thoughts and feelings.

Singing in a group encourages social inclusion and creates an opportunity for communities to come together.

Nora Edgeworth from Bantry, whose struggle with depression began with the bereavement of her partner 18 years ago, found her way out of the dark through music and her community. She now works in her local community using music to communicate, uplift and encourage. “I discovered I had capabilities and concentrated on what I could do,” she explains. “Working with music and the link with mental health is so important. I feel needed again. I’m 63 now and have a lot of dreams and hopes. Every day is innovative and creative. I have given up saying I can’t or won’t do something.”

2016 marks the first of the Feel Good parades, with over 30 community groups confirmed, from GAA clubs and Garda to walking and animal lovers groups. Other groups interested in participating can get in touch via the festival’s facebook page.

This year’s festival is also a first for Susan McManamon from Clonakilty, the new musical director of Bantry Community Choir. Susan, a pianist with the Vespertine Quintet, is delighted to have the opportunity to carry on the dedicated work of outgoing musical director Norman Collins.

The festival features a wide variety of events including open door music sessions, face painting, dance groups, fitness sessions and a ‘come and try’ sports session. For the Saturday Feelgood Parade, people are invited to dress however they like in the theme colours of blue and orange. Kids can even show off their Halloween costumes.

Liam Lawton will perform with the Bantry Community Choir and the award-winning Seoda Chamber Choir at a ‘Live Life and Sing’ concert, hosted by Lyric FM’s Evelyn Grant at Bantry’s Maritime Hotel on Friday, October 14.

West Cork Big Sing, whose motto is ‘singing for community well-being,’ will host public workshops in Bantry, Mealagh Valley, Glengarrif, Durrus and Castletownbere in the weeks leading up to The Big Sing event in Bantry Square on the Saturday. “The aim is to provide participants with the opportunity to learn songs in advance, meet others in their locality, bring awareness to the benefits of singing and to encourage community participation in The Big Sing,” said organiser Caz Jeffreys.

“There are many aspects of mental health that can leave people feeling helpless and isolated. We are here to help and we know that little things matter,” said Kevin O’Shanahan, a clinical nurse specialising in mental health and the arts for West Cork Mental Health Services.

He explains that research indicates medication is but one part of helping people feel better about themselves, and just about anything a person is interested in can also help, from sharing a cup of tea with others to getting out gardening, singing and dancing, especially with others or picking up a paintbrush. That’s why this year’s festival is a shop window of events for people to try, experience and maybe take further.

For full programme details find WestCorkFeelGood on facebook, or enquire at your local library.

Latest News Articles:

Clonakilty Fairtrade Fortnight celebrates 15 years
€44 million to improve Cork roads
Clonakilty Access Group AGM hears of many frustrations and challenges for people with disabilities in the town
Schull student scoops top invention award at BT Young Scientist
Schull Garda Station wins ‘Leading Light in Road Safety’ award from Road Safety Authority
Go quackers at the 2018 West Cork Bird Race
Bandon in danger of losing its youth café
Local professionals invited to Anam Cara information pack launch
Bandon Transport and Public Realm Enhancement Plan shortlisted for Irish Planning Awards
Christmas on the beat

Join us on Facebook

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
... See MoreSee Less

20th February, 2018  ·  

Did you know..... ... See MoreSee Less

Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1jc2tlH75Q
... See MoreSee Less

16th February, 2018  ·  

Vikings talk in Clonakilty!

“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
... See MoreSee Less

15th February, 2018  ·  

Bandon Toastmasters is a club that helps people overcome Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The club is holding a night of inspirational and motivational speakers on February 22 that is a must for anybody wishing to overcome this phobia.
Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.

www.eventbrite.ie/e/bandon-toastmasters-presents-ignite-your-potential-tickets-41871052445?aff=es2
... See MoreSee Less

13th February, 2018  ·  

Jump to:

Top