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Cór Danu agus a Turas go Nua-Eabhrac!

An mhí seo cáite, bhí turas thar a bheith speisialta ag mná óga an chóir Danu nuair a chuaigh siad ar turas uair amháin sa tsaol go Nua-Eabhrac le páirt a ghlacadh i gcomórtas barbershop idirnáisiúnta inar bhain siad an chéad áit amach. Is eagraíocht nua go leor í an Cór Danu, a bhunaigh Douglas Carnes dhá bhliain ó shin, fear a raibh fís aige cór do mhná óga a bhunú sa cheantar. Athraigh an domhan trí mheán an cheoil is ea mana an chóir, agus gan dabht, tá sé sin bainte amach ag Doug agus na cailíní, fiú gan bua iontach s’acu a ghlacadh san áireamh, tá tionchar imeartha ag an chór seo ar shaol na mban óg seo.

Is cór a cheolann sa stíl chlasaiceach den chuid is mó í Danu, ach bhí an turas go Nua-Eabhrac - don choinbhinsiún barbershop Midwinter - i gcónaí ann mar sprioc don chór ón uair a thosaíodh é. Ar dtús, le briseadh síos a dhéanamh ar an seánra barbershop, is amhránaíocht é le ceithre chodanna éagsúla ag ceol in armóin; Bass, Baritone, Lead agus Tenor. Agus an ceathrar acu ag ceol le chéile, tá fuaim uathúil cruthaithe agus fáisceann sé le chéile le glór amháin a chruthú. Thosaigh cailíní Danu ag foghlaim barbershop den chéad uair do sheó earraigh s’acu anuraidh, agus thum siad isteach sa stíl don téarma seo cáite le hullmhú do Nua-Eabhrac agus an comórtas. Bhí dhá amhrán sa stíl barbershop acu le hiomaíocht a dhéanamh ann chomh maith le hamhrán a bhfuil aithne againn uilig air, The Parting Glass, ina raibh aonrad sean-nós ceolta ag Katie Nic Giolla Chomhaill. Bhí bród ollmhór ar na cailíní agus a gcuid tacaitheoirí uilig le bheith ansin agus an t-eispéireas a bheith acu, ach bhí ríméad an domhain orthu nuair a bhain siad an chéad áit amach. 

Bhí Ceoltóirí Canola, ceathairéad barbershop taobh istigh de Danu, ag iomaíocht i gcomórtas eile sa choinbhinsiún Midwinter, comórtas do cheathairéid barbershop óga idirnáisiúnta inar tháinig siad sa cúigiú áit. Go hoifigiúil, is iad Ceoltóirí Canola an cúigiú ceathairéad barbershop óg is fearr ar domhan. Ar an iomlán, bhí cúis mhaith cheiliúrtha ag an chór an oíche sin, agus cinnte is éacht dochreidte é a mbeidh cuimhneamh ag achan duine a raibh mar pháirt de air go deo.

Chomh maith le comórtais, bhí Danu millteanach gnóthach ag déanamh taiscéalaíochta thart ar Nua-Eabhrac; ag amharc ar Wicked beo ar Broadway, ag tabhairt cuairt chuig rinc oighir Rockefeller faoin chrann Nollag, ag dul suas chuig barr an Empire State Building agus ag feiceáil Dealbh na Saoirse. Bhí fiú deis acu canadh in Ardeaglais Naomh Phádraig, rud a bhí rí-speisialta. Gan amhras, níl an saol mar an gcéanna do chailíní Danu tar éis filleadh ón eispéireas draíochtúil seo, ach tá gliondar orainn i Leitir Ceanainn go bhfuil siad ar ais. 


- Síne Cuevas Ní hAodha





Last month, the young women of the Danu choir had an amazing trip when they embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to New York to compete in an international barbershop competition in which they successfully won first place. The Danu Choir is a relatively new organisation, founded by Douglas Carnes two years ago, a man with a vision to establish a choir for young women in the area. Change the world through music is the choir's motto, and that has certainly been achieved by Doug and the girls, and even without taking into account their remarkable victory, this choir has had an incredibly transformative effect on the lives of these young women.

Danu predominantly sing in the classical style, but the trip to New York - for the Midwinter barbershop convention - has always been a goal for the choir since the beginning. Firstly, to break down the barbershop genre, it is a style of singing characterised by four-part harmony; Bass, Baritone, Lead, and Tenor. And with the four people singing together, a unique sound is created, blending together to create a single voice. The Danu girls started learning barbershop for the first time for their spring show last year, and they really began to delve into the style last term to prepare for New York and the competition. They had two barbershop-style songs to compete with as well as a song we all know, The Parting Glass, where Katie Nic Giolla Chomhaill performed a sean-nós solo. The girls and all their supporters were immensely proud to be there and to have had such a fantastic experience, and they were certainly overjoyed to hear that they won first place.

Ceoltóití Canola, a quartet barbershop within Danu, also competed in another competition at the Midwinter convention, an international competition for young barbershop quartets, in which they came fifth place. Ceoltóirí Canola are now officially the fifth-best young barbershop quartet in the world! Overall, the choir had a great reason to celebrate that night, and it's undoubtedly an incredible achievement that everyone involved in will remember forever.

In addition to competitions, Danu was quite busy sightseeing around New York; watching Wicked live on Broadway, visiting the ice rink at the Rockefeller Centre under the Christmas tree, going up to the top of the Empire State Building, and seeing the Statue of Liberty. They even had the opportunity to sing in St. Patrick's Cathedral, something which was really special. Life has definitely changed for the Danu girls since returning from this magical experience, but we are delighted here in Letterkenny that they are back.



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