West Cork lifted by the power of song

feel-good-fest-gamelan

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:

Doors open in newly revamped Schull Community College
West Cork aid worker forced to wade through snake-infested swamps to help support civilians fleeing war
New community building in Ballydehob nearing completion
Castletownbere Fisherman’s Co-op wins overall ‘Green Business of the Year’ award
Trinity exhibition honours West Cork botanist
3,000 people to attend events throughout Local Enterprise Week
€1m in funding sought for a new Air Ambulance
Quality Hotel Clonakilty West Cork Rally 2017
Time capsule burial in Clonakilty Credit Union
Age Friendly Towns Programme launched

Join us on Facebook

West Cork Flag Day Collections
in aid of Cork ARC Cancer Support House

Cork ARC Cancer Support House’s annual West Cork Flag Day collections are set to take place in Bandon on Friday 21st April and in Castletownbere, Bantry, Ballylickey, Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Kinsale and Macroom on Thursday 27th April, 2017.

Hilary Sullivan, Head of Fundraising / Corporate Affairs at Cork ARC Cancer Support House says: “Please remember on our annual Flag Day collection that all our collectors are volunteers, giving their time freely to raise funds and increase awareness about our cancer support services at our West Cork centre.” Acknowledging the ethos of volunteering being the driving force behind the charity’s work in the community, Hilary also says, “As all of the services at Cork ARC Cancer Support House in West Cork are supported by a large volunteer base, we hope that our volunteer collectors’ generosity of spirit will be rewarded by a warm reception from the public despite the difficult financial conditions experienced by so many people.”
... See MoreSee Less

19th April, 2017  ·  

ECCLES Hotel Glengarriff to host April 30th Wedding Showcase – Newly refurbished ballroom and bedrooms on show – Tasters of Chef Nick Davey’s delicious menus

ECCLES Hotel in Glengarriff has been helping guests to experience West Cork in all its serene beauty for over 250 years. And with the Eccles Team now being led by General Manager Aileen Hanley, that tradition is set to continue.

Aileen joins the historic West Cork Property from Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare where she held the position of Sales & Operations Manager. Firmly re-establishing the award-winning property, during her tenure, along with her husband Patrick (now Park Hotel Kenmare General Manager) Aileen plans to continue her success and work her magic at ECCLES Hotel, along with a dedicated team to bring it back to its former glory and re-establish its place in the local community.

Aileen and the team at ECCLES Hotel will host a wedding showcase on Sunday April 30th from 12 to 5pm. The showcase will present the refurbished Ilnacullin ballroom to couples. The ballroom which can comfortably host up to 320 guests, will be set up in all its splendour to help couples visualise their wedding reception at ECCLES Hotel. Some of the hotel’s newly refurbished bedrooms with stunning bay views will also be available to view on the day.

Rose O’Sullivan, wedding coordinator at ECCLES Hotel said, “As well as larger weddings ECCLES Hotel is a wonderful venue for more intimate wedding celebrations too as well as civil ceremonies and blessings. Couples can come and see all we have to offer and enjoy a prosecco and canape reception at the showcase, to give them a flavour of our delicious new wedding fare by Head Chef Nick Davey.”

For more information visit www.eccleshotel.com, call 027 63003 or email weddings@eccleshotel.com
... See MoreSee Less

19th April, 2017  ·  

Clonakilty Cruinniú na Cásca event

As part of the “Cruinniú na Cásca” initiative, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage has organised a complimentary guided historical walk of Clonakilty town starting at 12.00 noon at the Michael Collins statue on Easter Monday.

The event is totally free and the walk will be led by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage committee member, Fachtna McCarthy.
... See MoreSee Less

13th April, 2017  ·  

The Peninsula Players' stage their new play "The Cripple of Inishmaan" on April 28th & 29th in the Beara Bay Castletownbere. Tickets at the door. Unsuitable for younger audiences. Not for the faint-hearted! ... See MoreSee Less

10th April, 2017  ·  

Jump to:

Top