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Musicians line out to help Ellen's Journey

Martin McGuigan

Reporter:

Martin McGuigan

A CAVALCADE of Newry's finest showband musicians are joining forces in Newry Town Hall on November 9 for a night of nostalgia in aid of little Ellen Treanor.

Peader Cowan, Leon McCrum and a host of luminaries from the halcyon days of Newry's swinging Sixties showband scene will take to the stage to try and raise some much-needed money towards the tot's pioneering medical treatment.

Organiser Kathy McCaughey, who'll take to the stage herself along with her all-girl harmony quintet 'The Soul Sisters', said, that as a mother herself, she felt stirred into action once she heard about the brave toddler's story.

She said, “It's a show to show our support for little Ellen and we are just trying to raise money for her treatment like the whole town has been raising money for her.

“The reason I'm doing it is because when I heard the story of that wee girl - my own children are of similar age - I just felt, as a mummy, that her parents needed help. If you put yourself in their shoes, I would do anything if it was my children. I just felt really compelled to try and help.”

Kathy, who teaches children of all ages how to harmonise at her Choir Studio on the Warrenpoint Road, said that little Ellen's story had captured the hearts of the entire community.

“We teach so many children in the choir studio of that age, so you would do it for any child.

“The community has come together to help little Ellen, but what she has done for the community by bringing people together is amazing. I've never seen anything like it as people are really pulling together.”

Speaking of the calibre of the roster at the concert, Kathy promised a night of nostalgia jam-packed with classics from the swing, jazz and gospel canons.

She added, “We've got Peader Cowan, who is just class. Then you've Leon, who's such an amazing singer and had an amazing career in the music industry, working with Van Morrison and what not.

“We have a big showband playing, with brass, guitars, keys and drums, with Norman Halliday and Mark Hughes sharing drums, as well as all the children that are involved in choirs in The Choir Studio; the Little Voices choir, plus our adult gospel choir, the Uplifting Gospel Choir and The Shining Light gospel choir.

“We've secured a licence for a bar so people can have a drink. It's being run through the Choir Studio, which is a school of music and singing and choirs. It's all old-style harmony singing and trying to teach children the importance of our old songs.”

Tickets are £10 and you can get them from the Choir Studio, which is above Maud's ice-cream on the Warrenpoint Road, in Newry Arts Centre or at the Newry Democrat's office on Hill Street.

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