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Girdwood to host Christmas concert for homeless

TOGETHER: Paul McCusker, Lucy Addy and Nathan Moore from Laganside Sinfonia with Kieran Hughes from The Welcome Organisation TOGETHER: Paul McCusker, Lucy Addy and Nathan Moore from Laganside Sinfonia with Kieran Hughes from The Welcome Organisation
By Evan Short

AN international orchestra made up of musicians from across Europe will hold a special concert at the Girdwood Hub to raise money for a local homeless charity.
The Belfast based Laganside Sinfonia will perform their Star Wars and Mars from composer Holst’s The Planets concert on Saturday December 30 evening in aid of The Welcome Organisation.
Since its formation five years ago the Sinfonia has raised over £7,000 for various charities and this year the concert will be fundraising to help the homeless.
“The orchestra is delighted to be teaming up with the Welcome Organisation for a second year in a row to put on a fundraising concert during the Christmas season,” said conductor Paul McCusker.
“The organisation does amazing work with homeless across the city and hopefully our contribution can help support their various projects.”
Laganside Sinfonia will be joined by a host of soloists in their concert. Clarinettist Eve Wieltschnig, from Enniskillen will be performing Weber’s Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra and they will also be joined by Patrick Rafter and Christopher Quaid.
Patrick has a growing reputation as an international concert soloist, whilst Christopher is a student at the Royal College of Music in London. Concert admission is free but there will be a retiring collection with refreshments served after the concert.
The Welcome Organisation offers care for vulnerable men and women who are sleeping on the streets and are deemed to be at risk.
From their facility on Townsend Street they offer support both through housing and psychological services. The centre is open 365 days a year, seven days a week.
Kieran Hughes, from The Welcome Organisation, said the money raised will be used to help people affected by homelessness across Belfast.
“We are delighted that Laganside Sinfonia has again chosen The Welcome Organisation as the charity to benefit from their 2017 Christmas concert,” he said.
“It is fantastic to have the support of such a fantastic orchestra. The money raised will go towards our range of services including our Drop-in Centre at Townsend Street, our Street Outreach Service, our Floating Support and our Crisis Accommodation for Women.
“The money received will have a hugely positive impact on our work and in turn on the lives of people affected by homelessness.”

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