IT’s a project that’s been two years in the making but it all came to fruition over the last few months and weeks.
No less than ten renowned performers, accompanied by eight exceptional musicians, along with 34 children have released a new CD just in time for Christmas.
Arriving in Strabane in recent day all proceeds from ‘Put a Little Love in Your Heart’ is already receiving significant airplay on local radio stations.
The title song, Put a Little Love in Your Heart, which was originally recorded by Jackie DeShannon over 45 years ago, has been given a new lease of life in an arrangement produced by Paul Casey, who also features on guitar. Foyle Hospice patron, Bronagh Gallagher also took time from her busy schedule to provide lead vocals and she is accompanied by an array of local talent including Diane Greer, Rebecca Harkin, Laura Keogh, Conor McGinty, Paddy Nash, Jordan O’Keefe and Eilidh Patterson as well as children from schools right across the north west in what is a powerful revival of a timeless classic.
The second track features a solo performance from internationally acclaimed artist Cara Dillon.
Cara, who is originally from Dungiven, is accompanied by her husband Sam Lakeman on piano for what is an absolutely beautiful, pure and melodic version of Auld Lang Syne.
Local singer/songwriter Eilidh Patterson, not only appears on the first track, but she has also provided her own beautiful Christmas track entitled ‘Underneath the Tree’ to be included as part of the overall production. Speaking about her involvement Eilidh said, “I am delighted to have been invited to take part in this project.
“The Foyle Hospice does such excellent work all year round, it’s a joy for me to help in spreading the awareness of their love and commitment to those in need.”
A relatively unknown Christmas poem called Star in My Heart by Mary E Linton is recited by very well-known local actress Roma Downey with a musical accompaniment written and arranged by Paul Casey.
Roma recorded the track in Malibu and has been a huge supporter of Foyle Hospice over the years.
A limited number of copies of the CD will be available to purchase through the Foyle Hospice shop on Castle Street in Strabane.
Donall Henderson, CEO Foyle Hospice said that the anticipation and excitement around the release of this CD is something very special.
“This is a very unique project,” he said. “It is about people, by people and for people.
“We were clear from the outset that whilst it is definitely one part of it, the CD is not only about raising funds, but it is also about community engagement and raising awareness of hospice and palliative care locally.”
Foyle Hospice currently provides services and support to almost 500 new patients and their families every year at a cost of approximately £3milllion per annum, 70 per-cent of which is down to the generosity and continued kindness of the local community.
He added, “Whilst we are asking people to buy the CD, we also see it as one way of giving something back through the art of music, with a collaboration of some of the most talented performers from the North West. We are indebted to all of the performers, musicians, school children, producers and all those individuals who have contributed time, talent and energy, from concept to execution, completely free of charge and without any hesitation to help make this possible.”