Two choirs offer benefit concert for Ireland trip

Published 6:18 pm Thursday, May 9, 2019

Two local choirs under the Danville Sings umbrella will give a benefit performance Tuesday night in the hopes of helping to pay for a trip to Ireland. “Sisters and Brothers in Song” will feature Soundy Joy Women’s Choir and Resonance Men’s Choir.

“The concert is free, but we are taking donations for our October 2020 concert trip to Ireland,” said Barbara Hall, Sounding Joy’s conductor and Stodghill Professor of Music, Emerita at Centre College. They are also trying to build up a scholarship fund to help defray the costs for singers who need financial assistance for the trip.

Hall described the concert: “The earliest set of pieces of the concert are by English Baroque composer, Henry Purcell. There are two traditional songs on the concert, an arrangement of ‘Old Dan Tucker’ and a sea chantey, both of which will be sung by the men.

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“The women will do two wonderful 20th/21st century songs about women. The first, on African-American poet Lucille Clifton’s poem, ‘Sisters,’ lists all the things shared by the sisters but ends with the poignant revelation that one is a singer, the other a poet. The second, ‘Handles,’ is by Elizabeth Alexander who also wrote the very sassy text, which begins with ‘You say you can’t get a handle on a woman’ and then goes on with great wit to describe with pride many varieties of women’s handles.

“The program also features several sacred pieces and two songs from musical theater —’The Impossible Dream’ from Man of La Mancha, and ‘Next to Lovin’ I like Fightin’’ from Shenandoah. And we will end the program, joined in song and dance by willing audience members, with a Yiddish song about brothers, sisters and family united.”

Hall said she’s been wanting to take a group of community singers to Ireland for at least five years, and has finally determined the singing groups can do this in October of 2020.

“We’ll focus on Dublin and Belfast, with both sight-seeing and performing, and will also visit and perform in Carrickfergus, Danville’s Sister City, and Bellymena, the county seat of that region,” Hall said.

She said they are definitely open to new singers who may want to join them for the Ireland concert tour. Anyone interested should email Hall at

To find out more about Danville Sings, visit


A benefit concert by the men’s and women’s community choirs Sounding Joy and Resonance will be 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at First Christian Church, 555 E. Lexington Ave.