Joanne Hogg to sing in CHEERS support concert

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Former CHEERS voluntary youth worker Joanne Hogg will put her musical talents to good use to support the Youth Centre when she joins Ballymoney’s ‘Let’s Sing Gospel’ choir to sing at their concert on Saturday 28 January in First Ballymoney Presbyterian church at 7.30.

Joanne gave up a medical career to pursue her singing career both as a soloist and with her band Iona and has sung with the New Irish Choir in support of CHEERS in previous concerts in Ballymoney. She has composed some of Iona’s most beautiful atmospheric songs such as The Island and Irish Day and has recorded ‘New Irish Hymns’ with Moya Brennan and Margaret Becker as well as appearing on BBC’s Songs of Praise.

The current financial recession has hit many voluntary organisations and CHEERS has not escaped the downturn with an increase in costs requiring the Directors to examine the programme and cutting costs where they can.

‘At a time when young people need support in many areas of their lives, including finding jobs, dealing with issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, their place in the community and their future,

CHEERS is struggling to meet their financial commitments to continue and develop the centre’s work’ said Mervyn Dunlop the centre secretary.

‘Recently Tommie Linton took a group of young people from the town and the local area to Poland on a European Citizenship Project. Having the opportunity to take part in this type of experience broadens their experience and outlook. Some of the projects also allow young people to gain Open College Network qualifications and these are a great addition to a young person’s CV when looking for work’ he added.

‘When we do fund raisers for CHEERS we like to give people something for their money and this concert will give people a great evening of music, and the opportunity to join in quality praise. We are thrilled to have Joanne join the choir. We also want to thank the choir members, musicians and Tony Morrison who have worked so hard to be able to produce quality music and song.

‘BBC’s Gareth Malone may have made the Christmas number 1 with his military wives choir, but Tony has done a great job bringing people together drawn from the whole community and moulding them into a choir and, who knows, maybe number 1 next year!’ he added.

There are still some tickets for the concert available from choir members, RH Gault’s and CHEERS Youth Centre in Church Street Ballymoney, Sketcher’s in Bendooragh and the Causeway School of Music in Railway Rd Coleraine. There should also be a few tickets available on the night of the event.