In the spotlight: The 65 Kitchen Choir?
In the spotlight: The 65 Kitchen Choir
Who are the 65 Kitchen Choir?
The 65 Kitchen Choir started out as friends and family members of Caroline Smith (a local guitar teacher) who got together to sing for a mass in Marian Avenue Portlaoise and then one in John’s Square, and took the name from the number on Caroline’s door – 65 Marian Ave – and the fact that they practice in the kitchen there. Then some guitar students of Caroline’s joined in. That’s when Caroline suggested that they put on a show, on a stage for the public. Almost all of these people had never thought they would sing in public let alone do so on stage. But Caroline saw the potential and is talented at bringing out the best in the people she teaches through a mutual love of the music.
Don’t let the name fool you. This is no ordinary choir. Under Caroline’s expert guidance each of the twenty-seven members of the 65 Kitchen Choir gets to perform front of stage. Caroline’s vision has created dozens of different sounds, and singing combinations from this group of ordinary people. Over the past 9 years she has drawn out talents they didn’t know they possessed, mixed and matched them to create a yearly show that presents great variety in singers, harmonies and humour. Then there’s the band, an integral part of the choir. These talented musicians (two of whom were guitar students of Caroline’s) work hard to provide the music that drives this choir to excellence. In essence you get a brilliant band with lots of different singing groups and a fantastic choir backing. This is no ordinary choir, and their shows will have you singing, clapping, laughing and wanting to get up and dance. As Caroline repeatedly says “It’s just such good music”. So sisters and brothers, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, cousins, in-laws and friends have become the very happy family that is ‘The 65 Kitchen Choir’.
Now 9 years and more than 9 shows later they’re performing again in the Dunamaise Theatre some of the best songs from previous shows, along with many of the Christmas favourites. They don’t perform church music, they perform rock and roll, pop, country, swing and much more. Most of the music that the 65 Kitchen Choir performs comes from the 50’s 60’s and 70’s, the roots of inspiration that fed Caroline’s love of music. They’re the songs that most people know and love, songs you can sing along to. Those who have gone to see one of the 65 Kitchen Choir shows inevitably go back again, so the choir has built up a loyal fan base. The wonderful response and support of the audiences is what keeps the choir working to improve. Come and see the show and you won’t be disappointed.
In 2011 they recorded a CD, ‘Timeless’, in the Golden Egg Studios with such songs as Sherry Baby and other Jersey Boys hits, the Bee Gees’ Tragedy & Islands in the Stream, River Deep Mountain High, Proud Mary and Voice of an Angel.
This group is a community-based, non-profit one. A donation is made from every show to a local charity. They are performing in the Dunamaise Theatre for three nights, 4th, and 5th & 6th December at 8pm. Tickets are 15 and available at the theatre. Saturday night is already sold out, but tickets are still available for the Thursday and Friday night shows.