The High Hopes Choir on RTÉ One last night (December 4) inspired so much conversation that it was trending on Twitter. Click on the link to watch an extra scene from last night's show - Bert serenades Margaret and Vicky.
The High Hopes Choir follows David Brophy, former principal conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, as he embarks on his mission to form Ireland’s first homeless choir.
He's aiming to form two choirs - one in Dublin and one in Waterford - both made up of homeless people and those who have been affected by homelessness.
Last night's episode saw him hit the streets and contact homeless charities in a bid to recruit members for both choirs. Friendships started to develop as choir members discovered their singing voices. And rehearsals began in earnest as the choirs build towards their first public performances.
This is an ambitious project for Brophy who is working with some of the most recognised charities in Ireland - Dublin Simon Community, Saint Vincent De Paul and Focus Ireland. “In just 8 weeks, through 20 rehearsals and over 1200 cups of tea and coffee, more than 60 people, all dealing with Ireland’s homeless crisis, reach beyond the stars,” he explains.
The choir have recorded Kodaline’s High Hopes and released it as a single - and they recently performed live on The Late Late Show. The charity single was recorded after receiving some encouragement and vocal advice from chart-topper Ed Sheeran, former Westlife star Shane Filan and The Voice of Ireland’s judge Bressie.
Most recently, the choir performed in a charity gala concert which took place in Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin, accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and with guest performances from Lisa Hannigan and Brian Kennedy.
The High Hopes Choir aims to help change the public perception of what it means to be homeless in Ireland today, as well as raising funds to support the services and facilities which play a vital part in ending the cycle of homelessness.
90 cent from each download will be split equally between Dublin Simon Community, Saint Vincent De Paul and Focus Ireland.
The High Hopes Choir, RTÉ One, Thursday, 10:15pm
Check out what viewers were saying on Twitter about last night's show.
Just watched #highhopeschoir. What a moving way to bring layers of Irish life to a broader audience: there's no 'them and us', only us...— anneroper (@anneeroper) December 5, 2014
Really enjoyed the #highhopeschoir documentary. Well worth the watch. Looking forward to the next one— Colm Hanley (@hatchetcol) December 4, 2014
#HighHopesChoir was lovely but don't make the mistake of going to bed feeling all warm and fuzzy. Feel outraged it is necessary. Call a TD.— Philip Nolan (@philipnolan1) December 4, 2014
What an inspiring bunch of people in the #highhopeschoir— Niamh Hassell (@niamhhassell) December 4, 2014
David Brophy's sense of humour, passion & compassion is empowering people who's confidence has been beaten but not broken #highhopeschoir— Simon Communities (@SimonCommunity) December 4, 2014