The Omagh Community Youth Choir was formed in October 1998 in the wake of the Omagh Bomb atrocity of August 15th 1998. This devastating act left a town of shattered dreams and a community in need of healing and solace. Local music student, Daryl Simpson, together with other youth leaders set up the choir. His vision was to bring together young people from various backgrounds and traditions, to raise a positive awareness of a community working together for peace and reconciliation, to provide comfort in those dark days after August 15th.
Almost immediately they were asked to record the title track from the Omagh Fund CD, “Across the Bridge of Hope” along with other major Irish Stars. TV appearances ensued including a special Omagh tribute “Late Late Show” on RTE alongside the likes of U2 and Bob Geldolf.
The choir has maintained a busy schedule of performing and recording. Highlights include touring the US on 5 occasions with an appearance at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. and a recording with Andrew Lloyd-Webber on his musical “The Beautiful Game,” giving a special rendition at the Royal Variety Show in London.
The choir has performed all over Ireland to critical acclaim, and over its ten years, has sought to promote peace and reconciliation through local young people. They continue their aims through music making and their extensive charity work for others.
How we met:
In 2008, a friend of the Playing for Change family told us about a Catholic / Protestant youth choir in Ireland that she had been a member of, before moving to the states. She told us about its history, the reasoning behind its creation, and gave us the contact information of its creator. We were compelled, and a few months later we contacted Daryl Simpson, the choir’s founder, and scheduled a time to fly to Ireland to meet and collaborate. They are now an integral part of our film and movement.