These are some of the members of the IGNITE Gospel choir & their story about their experience of being in the choir
Meet the Choir: Aoife Kelly, Alto
My name is Aoife Kelly and I’m the first member of the IGNITE gospel choir. I had no intention of joining anything. I went to mass one Sunday evening at 5.30 in the Jes church and I heard the most beautiful voice coming from a young woman singing at the top of the church. It touched my heart! I thought “That is sooo beautiful” and said to myself ‘I want to do that’.
I was in an extremely vulnerable place in my life. I was a very broken person. I don’t know where I got the courage but I approached her and she said her name was Keara and we chatted a little. I said I would like to sing, not thinking she was going to respond the way she did and start a choir. Little did I know what was to come. At that time, I had no singing voice, I’d lost it from a lot I went through in my past. My family or no one was aware of this. It has taken me 9 years to do what I was created to do and use this gift freely which is god given.
Being part of ignite I’ve been touched in so many ways by the people in it. I’ve received a lot of healing. I’ve learned to receive love which was a tough one for me as well as actually taking a compliment.
What I love about ignite is that I feel like I’m apart of a big family and everyone is excepted into it no matter who or what you are. I’ve met some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known, of all ages, which is even nicer.
Over the years in the choir I’ve conquered so many fears and insecurities.
Keara told me I could do it! She really believed in me and it stuck with me.
I love getting away on a Thursday evening for practice for a good auld blast!!
I let everything out, stress, exhaustion, frustration, depression, loneliness. It leaves me as soon as I walk in that door and I see keara standing up in front of the group I feel my heart lifting and I’m smiling inside. It’s amazing, I love it!!! It’s a place to be free, praise God. I want to touch the hearts and ears of those who hear us sing for God’s greater glory. He has a plan and it’s all part of it.
I can’t thank keara enough for taking me in, for loving me and blessing me with so much and being so patient with me.
I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest to just go for it and join us.
Don’t think you’re not good enough, because you are!!! Hear Aoife singing here
Meet the Choir: Cynthia Keating Soprano
I saw ignite choir perform in Dominic Street during the summer of 2014. I thought that they were extremely talented they had a wonderful energy about them and they were so lively and so full of fun. I thought I want to be a part of that. That was before I heard Keara sing, wow what a voice.
I went along for my first rehearsal November 2015 and it was the best decision I ever made. Everybody was so kind so welcoming and so friendly I really felt at home.
I have had a lot of fun also my singing has improved a little. My confidence is growing. We have performed at a variety of events, for weddings, for Mass and for corporate events and they all have been really successful. I am constantly amazed at the positive feedback we get from people it’s wonderful. The audience really enjoy the songs and the energy we as a choir create and everybody always joins in. By the end of the session the crowd are either dancing or singing it’s wonderful.
So I can see myself being in ignite choir for the foreseeable future because everybody is so close and there is a real family atmosphere.
Its the best thing I have done!
Meet the choir: Ann Marie Horan Alto
I joined Ignite over 7 years ago, soon after I had come back to live in Galway after more than 20 years based in Dublin. I was delighted to be coming back to my home town, but even so, the transition was tough in many ways.
Singing with Ignite was the perfect antidote. The music is uplifting, beautiful and a great pleasure to sing. It really does the heart good. Keara has an amazing gift; her harmonies are glorious.
There’s something else that’s very special about Ignite which can be hard to put into words. There’s a wonderful atmosphere amongst the members; people genuinely care about each other and want the best for one another. I had sung with other choirs before, but I’d never experienced the sense of loving community that Ignite has in spades.
Being part of Ignite and singing its beautiful music have helped my confidence as a singer enormously. So much so that I got the courage and support to begin recording an album of my own songs last year. It’s been a steep learning curve, but we’re making steady progress. Hopefully it will be finished by late Summer 2016. Hear Ann Maire Sing here
“Meet the Choir” Angèle Alonzo – Alto
My name is Angèle Alonzo. I am a medical student at NUIG from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. When I moved to Ireland in September 2015 it was the first time I lived away from my family in an environment quite opposite to the one I had at home. As a result by early October I experienced immense homesickness and was unable to do my studies efficiently. It was then recommended by a friend that I visit the Counselling services available at the University. The counselor there suggested that I explore the areas of life in Trinidad that I was passionate about here in Ireland. These were God and singing. She then advised me to visit the church at St Josephs where the Ignite choir sings.
That same Sunday I attended Mass at St Josephs and it changed my life. From the Entrance Hymn to the last song, the music of Ignite was beautiful, angelic and entertaining. I could sense from just hearing their music that they were more than just a choir but a movement of singers making a powerful impression on those who listened. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to be a part of this and so I joined that Thursday.
When I attended the practices I wasn’t surprised at the tremendous talent of the musical director Keara , the great singing voices of the members, nor was I surprised at how well organise and managed the choir was. What surprised me was the family-like atmosphere in the room anytime the choir was together. There was deep-rooted love and concern. There was a genuine desire to be-friend and care for the person you just happen to be singing next to that particular Sunday.
For such a big choir I was very impressed. I was also touched by the love and acceptance I received that made me feel right at home. My experience in the Ignite choir has been a very positive one that has provided me with an excellent avenue to de-stress from sometimes vigorous and tedious University life. So much so that Thursdays and Sundays became my favourite days of the week.
I thank God for Keara and her determination, hard work and perseverance. Over the years, she has built more than just a choir but a true home and safe-haven for anyone who needs to feel loved or a sense of belonging. Lastly if you love to sing and are always up for a bit of craic I would recommend joining this choir. You will never regret it!
Meet the choir: Maggie May – Alto
I first met Keara in October 2010.It was in the jes church, She was rehearsing for a Christmas concert at the time. The Gift..
A friend of mine at the time asked me would I be interested in singing in a choir for Christmas. My first reaction was No. I didn’t believe I would be able to do that or be good enough. I did not have any confidences at that time to sing but also I was afraid to be around people.
At this time of my life I was very broken, Mentally, Spirituality, Physically and Emotionally. It was a very hard and sad time in my life.
I had never met anyone like Keara, Never thought that there was a person alive that was so Kind, caring, Supportive, and loving.
When I heard her sing it blew me away I was so moved. When the Concert was over at Christmas, I felt very sad again, That is when Keara asked me would I like to join Ignite Gospel Choir. I agreed and my life has never been the same since.
The Ignite members made me feel so welcome on the Thursday I went to join, it really touched my heart because for such a long time I was very scared and lonely. As the time went by I found that I was getting through each week because i was so looking forward to our rehearsal on the Thursday evenings.
The complete Acceptances from the choir was overwhelming that at times, well many times I would just cry the entire way through the songs. At the time I did not realize that I was beginning to heal.
Being a member of Ignite Gospel Choir is being a member of the most amazing family you could ever imagine. i am so blessed to be a part of it.
When I find it difficult some days when my health is not good. I know that no matter how hard it is for me I have My Ignite family.
I will never be able to put in to words how grateful I am for the Choir because today I am a much stronger person. I have become the woman i was meant to be. A strong, happy, Content, and most of all peaceful. I don’t live in fear anymore. And will never let people hurt me again.
I look forward to every Thursday to our Rehearsal. it is my time to let my hair down, Sing all my cares away. To enjoy being with beautiful people, Singing for me is praying and I thank God every day for all the wonderful friends i now have in my life.
I can not imagine Ignite not being in my life. I would highly recommend singing in a choir. I will truly change your Life. It did for me.!! Hear Maggie sing her first solo here!
Meet the choir: Barry Martin – Bass
2009 in the Jesuit Church I first met Keara after 5.30 mass. I had heard her “Jes Gospel Choir” a number of times and decided that I might like to sing in a choir.
So I approached Keara and asked “Keara am I too old to be in your choir”. Keara replied “Of course not”. So here I am in 2016 and still with them, now called “The Ignite Gospel Choir” which is very much part of the community in St. Josephs Church.
I still enjoy being in the choir and look forward to each rehearsal and of course singing at mass each Sunday. Keara has a great ability to put together the talents of all the choir members by putting together the harmonies that make the choir work successfully – it’s One of the many reasons I continue to be part of the choir. Hear Barry sing here
Meet the choir: Julie Anne Hession , Soprano
Julie-Ann Hession Soprano. I joined Ignite Gospel Choir just over a year ago. Before then I had very little interests. I went online one day and googled ‘hobbies’ and when i saw “join a choir” listed I immediately thought yes and got excited because I love to sing and I wanted to set myself a little challenge. I was so nervous going into my first rehearsal at St. Joseph’s church that I nearly got back into the car and drove home. I’m so glad I walked inside. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. I really felt at home there and then. I love all the songs Keara has taught us. She is a truly gifted and talented lady. I love going to rehearsal every Thursday, it doesn’t feel like a rehearsal because it’s so enjoyable from beginning to end. I recently sang solo at mass and I was so nervous but Keara was so comforting and kind and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I have met a great bunch of people and I am so honoured and blessed to be an Igniter!!! Julie Anne Singing Only hope with her Sister Ailbhe
Meet the choir: Denise Maher , soprano
Music has always filled me with happiness. For as long as I remember, I sang to forget my worries or to express my happiness.
Since joining Ignite in January 2016 I have regained lost confidence, sparked a further interest in Gospel music, reconnected with my faith and finally found my home within the Galway community.
It’s incredible how much love, trust and support one group of people can excude. I’m forever grateful for the talent we have been given, the continuous challenge of new songs and most importantly providing a service to the people of Galway. With Keara’s leadership skills and musical gift we are truly lucky bunch! Come along every Thursday & Sunday, get involved & let music take away all your fears!!
Meet the choir : Berina Kelly Soprano
I love to sing. Joining the choir was one of the best decisions I made in the last couple of years. Keara and all the choir were so welcoming and it’s true, we’re like a little community and all encourage and support each other.
I believe anyone can sing and I would highly recommend it, so come and join, it’s a tonic!
Meet the choir- Adele Virtuoso Soprano
Singing has always been a part of my life. Back home, in Italy, I sang in my church choir for several years and after I moved to Ireland I really missed it. Then, one Sunday, I was at Mass in the Jes and heard Keara invite new singers for The Gift, a Christmas concert she’d been organizing for a few years. I couldn’t resist. I asked to be part of it. I didThe Gift for two years and after this experience it somehow felt natural to join the Ignite Gospel Choir. I found what I was looking for: to be part of a community, of a group where people share the same passion for singing. Being an Igniter also gives me the opportunity to repay the wonderful and welcoming Galway, for all the gifts I have received these past 10 years I’ve been living in Ireland, through all of the charity events, masses and concerts we participate in as a choir. Ignite is a fundamental part of my life, an amazing group of people, a wonderful family.
Meet the choir – Frank Keane Tenor
I believe that everyone gets something special from music be it singing or just listening. For me I sing better in a group so a choir is ideal. I joined Ignite in 2012 and found a wonderful avenue to tap into the gift of music. The songs we sing and the passion of the singers is great to experience. Indeed I feel blessed to be a part of such a group and give thanks to all involved who make it happen and especially our director Keara who’s talent and commitment is the glue that keeps it all going. Make music a part of your life. Join a choir. Try Ignite. I’m glad I did. Frank. Hear Frank Sing here
Meet the choir: Jackie Conway Soprano
Joined Ignite Jan 2013. Loving every minute – singing makes me happy and keeps me healthy. The choir is a source of energy that spiritually and emotionally touches me. It is unifying. Hear Jackie sing here
Meet the Choir: Patricia Hynes Alto
I joined Ignite Gospel choir just over three months ago after hearing stories of how invigorated and uplifted choir members would feel after Sunday mass!
All my life I have felt connected and inspired by the power of song, dance and music and feel most alive when I am listening or singing to music. I decided one Thursday evening to venture along to an Ignite rehearsal and I have never looked back!! I sat and listened in complete awe as Keara sang played and directed the choir with such precision and harmony.
I was filled with wonderment and admiration and from this moment I knew that the Ignite Gospel Choir is something I wanted to be part of. I have enjoyed all rehearsals, get togethers and singing at Sunday mass’ ever since. The choir members have been so warm and welcoming and Kearas talent for song and music is just incredible!
Meet the choir: Tom Coen , Tenor
I joined Ignite Gospel Choir about four years ago because I wanted to expand on my choral experience with my other choir Galway Choral Association. Since I joined Ignite I feel rejuvenated and uplifted every time I sing with the choir. The fact that Keara got me to sing “Morning Has Broken” for St. Patrick’s Day this year has given me a huge boost in my self-confidence and self-esteem. The support from all the other members of the choir is hugely important to me as I would regard myself as musically challenged!!
Meet the Choir: Lily Mooney: Alto
I joined Ignite Gospel Choir in May 2014 and I am so happy that I met you Keara when I answered your announcement in the newsletter for singing lessons. Keara you are an inspiration to us all you have so much abundance of energy you amaze me. Your music and lyrics leave me breathless and I enjoy every minute I am in the midst of our wonderful choir. I first heard Ignite sing at the ARA Festival in the Galway Bay Hotel. I can honestly say I was so moved I started to pray. I have been a member of many choirs throughout my life, school choirs through to church
choirs. I love music because it makes me feel happy and grateful to be alive and when I joined Ignite with all the lovely people there I feel even more alive than life itself.
Yes you are right Keara, I have become part of an extended family where I feel so very much at home and feel calm where I can chill out and catch my breath. Every week being a member I meet someone new and lovely with their hands out ready to greet me and I feel very much accepted. It is great to be among so many young and not so young both guys and girls. So much to talk about, so many things and places to go.
The workshops at first I found them difficult as I am not so much an individual singer as I was always part of a group but now I even sing out loud at home. Every rehearsal is an adventure down avenues I never went before and the joy I feel will I hope continue for many years to come. Alleluia
Meet the choir: Sheila Moran , Soprano
I joined Ignite as 3 work colleagues were in the choir and they all seemed to really enjoy it. They encouraged me to join but I was afraid to as I didn’t think I had a good enough voice to be in the choir. I went to the summer and Christmas concerts in 2014 and was blown away at how good the choir was. Ignite also sung at a friend’s wedding in 2014 and the music was beautiful. I finally picked up the courage to join in January 2015 and I’m so glad I did. Everybody is really friendly and look out for each other. It’s like being part of a big family. I love going to choir practice every Thursday. It’s a great way to relax after a stressful day. It always puts me in a good mood. I also look forward to our various gigs and concerts as although they are nerve wracking, you get a great buzz from it and it’s lovely to watch other people enjoying out singing.
Meet the choir : Suzanne Ryan soprano
I figured there was no better way of getting to know people and for people in the choir to know me by posting my bio!
Suzanne here – the newest member of the group (even though I’ve been quietly singing from the congregation for the past 6 weeks 😀)
I just recently joined the choir because I always love to sing, it gives me joy and brings a big smile to my face! I sang in St Joseph’s when in school so it’s nice to be back – thirty years on…. I’m from Galway, living in Kinvara with my hubby and play Mom to 5 children from 18 to 9 and work also so it’s always busy.
I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone in the choir, to singing my heart out and continuing to smile and bring smiles to people’s lives through it!
Meet the choir – Helen Burke Soprano
I joined the choir and did the Christmas concert two years ago I loved it and love going to practice it clears my head of all stress and i love doing the various concerts and weddings if I can remember the words!!!!
i have made great friends in ignite I love singing it brings me great solace and joy🗣😜
Meet the choir : Lizzie Hamson Soprano
I have been in choirs for as long as I could talk. I fell in love with gospel when I first heard the Dublin gospel choir in 1997 when they had just started as a school graduation choir inspired by sister act. Since then I’ve used gospel music with the teenagers I work with to inspire and develop faith and friendship. I was in the celbrige and Ballymun gospel choirs. I have never met anyone as talented enthusiastic and committed as Keara. The repertoire is amazing and the harmonies are stunning. She has been really understanding of my situation as I can’t always make practices due to work and family commitments but I’m loving the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful choir. Thanks. Lizzie😀
Meet the choir: Allison Dunne – Alto
I joined Ignite in Jan 2014 after singing in Keara’s Gift choir for the two previous Christmases. I am a mental health pharmacist and busy mum to two boys. Ignite is my “me-time” every week. I enjoy the uplifting music and community spirit within the choir. It’s a great feeling to know that my Ignite family are there if I ever need them