Three years of making memories through music
23 November 2022 - by News Reporter
THE past three years have been filled with music, memories and magical moments for award-winning group Strings & Sings.
The popular five-piece ukulele and guitar group formed during the pandemic - and have been on an unforgettable journey ever since.
“Little did we imagine in that time that we would perform for Royals, win the ‘Spirit of Buskfest’ Award at Banbridge Buskfest and travel near and far with our music,” group PRO Teresa McBurney told the Chronicle.
“It’s been the most wonderful adventure and we’ve loved every minute!
“During the summer, we played at Castlewellan Show which saw us reaching out to audiences of 10,000 people.
“We also got to perform at a fun day at local GAA club Clann na Banna, and at Rushmere Shopping Centre.
“In September, we were given a very warm welcome when we performed at Magherally Parish Church fete.
“Rev. Karen Salmon even joined in and enjoyed a strum on the ukulele!
“The high point of the day was Kate’s dog - and our mascot - ‘Bono’ winning a rosette for his work as a therapy dog!
“We also had engagements at Riversley Fold, Spelga Radius Housing and Lisnisky Care Home.
“Last month, we were very humbled to raise vital funds for different charities whilst playing at the Sunflower Woods and at ‘Paint the Town Pink’ for Action Cancer in Banbridge town centre and at The Boulevard.
“Our very own Sandra took to the airwaves when she was interviewed on BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Your Place and Mine’ programme.
“October also saw us performing at the F.E McWilliam Gallery & Studio, Belvedere Care Home and at Elmfield Estate.
“We were privileged to be asked back by Alex Woods to close the Sunflower Woods. Alex put on a barbecue for us and also presented me with the most delicious cake for my birthday! We are so grateful to Alex for her kindness and hospitality.
“She’s already booked us for next year, and we can’t wait to return.
“When we play at the Sunflower Woods and at Elmfield it’s like a ‘home from home’ for us and always such a positive experience.”
Teresa added: “This month, we will be playing at a cultural day in Belfast, as well as returning to Mountvale in Dromore, the Southern Area Hospice and Riversley Fold.
“Later in the month we are delighted to be performing at an Action Cancer Christmas event at Brownlow House.”
Such is the demand for the group, Strings & Sings have confirmed bookings until the end of the year.
“In the run-up to Christmas we have lots of festive engagements,” Teresa revealed.
“They include the Thursday Club, the LLTCA Christmas party, Elmfield Christmas Market, the Christmas lights switch-on in Scarva, as well as carol singing for shoppers at The Boulevard, Victoria Square and at local care homes.”
Teresa explained that Strings & Sings now have connections with over 30 care homes, charities, hospices, markets, businesses and events – truly incredible!
“We do our best to accommodate everybody with our growing demand,” the classroom assistant and musician explained.
“We love every minute of it and it's that special connection that we make which we value so much and keeps people asking us back.
“We’ve grown so much in confidence with each of us now enjoying doing solos, duets and complex harmonies, which makes our songs even richer.
“Thanks to voluntary donations received, we've invested in professional sound equipment which means we can achieve a better balance of sound, with the microphones projecting our voices to focus on our harmonies and musicianship.
“Most importantly, we have made so many new friends of all ages and all walks of life, including Lara, aged eight, who loves dancing to our upbeat songs wherever we go. Her mother recently thanked us for introducing her daughter to a whole new world of music!
“We are so grateful for all the invitations we get – we put our heart and soul into every gig and it means so much when people ask us back to perform again.
“We look forward to making many more memories through our music.”
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