Irish Chamber Orchestra release Christmas charity single with Johnny Logan

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THE Irish Chamber Orchestra (ICO) has this week released a Christmas charity single Driving Home for Christmas, a reimagined cover of Chris Rea’s 1987 iconic song hit of the same name.  This new collaboration with three times Eurovision winner, Johnny Logan and producer Jimmy Smyth will help raise vital funds for Parkinson’s Association of Ireland (PAI) while at the same time support Irish Chamber Orchestra’s free education and social development projects.

The charity single is available for purchase on www.irishchamberorchestra.com and will raise essential funds to help people living with Parkinson’s and enable the ICO to continue its valuable work in Limerick city, providing more than 300 children weekly with free music education through its Sing Out With Strings and Irish Chamber Orchestra Youth Orchestra initiatives.

The single was recorded at the ICO Studio on campus at UL. The music was directed by Katherine Hunka, arranged, and produced by Jimmy Smyth. Artwork for the Driving Home for Christmas single has been designed by the distinguished artist and designer, Robert Ballagh. This original artwork will be auctioned at a later date to be announced in due course. There is a limited edition of 78 only signed Gicleé Prints available now for sale on ICO’s online store. The figure 78 represents the late Shay Healy’s age on his death from Parkinson’s and coincidentally, our artist Robert Ballagh celebrates his 78th milestone year.   Both charities will benefit from these sales.  Watch promo video here.

Johnny Logan said: “I was delighted to work with the ICO on this terrific song. My great friend, songwriter Shay Healy wrote my first Eurovision winning song What’s Another Year back in 1980. His battle with Parkinson’s Disease was inspirational for many dealing with the same struggles. Though we lost Shay last April, it’s great to know this collaboration can help the trojan work of Parkinsons Association of Ireland.    I also know how passionate the Irish Chamber Orchestra is in its commitment to its fantastic work in Limerick city, providing hundreds of children with free music through its inclusive and innovative education programmes, Sing Out With Strings and the ICOYO.  I have seen the transformative impact of their work on the lives of children and young people in need of support, which is why I am so proud to be launching this incredibly special single today.”

ICO CEO, Gerard Keenan added “I would like to thank Johnny for his time and for revitalising this classic song. At ICO, we continue to inspire young people to engage with music in a variety of different contexts. We are committed to nurturing their lives and their talents. Exploring and consolidating mutually beneficial partnerships such as this venture with Parkinson’s Association of Ireland are core to ICO’s mission. We must do everything in our power to ensure there is no disruption in supporting these children and those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.”

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PAI CEO Paula Gilmore added: “We are delighted to benefit from the proceeds of the sale of this wonderful single. It enables our branch offices and volunteers to continue to provide the much-needed support and services to the Parkinson community. We continue to work with research teams and advocate for improved services so funding from this project is most welcome. We at the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland would like to thank Irish Chamber Orchestra for its support.  All donations will enable us to continue providing services to our membership in these extremely hard times. Covid19 has halted most of our fund-raising activities and we depend on such generosity to continue our work supporting the Parkinson’s community.”