Chair Ivan Johnston with the newly-elected office bearers of the Farmers’ Choir Northern Ireland with former Minister of Health for Northern Ireland, Robin Swann MLA, their newly elected President.
Farmers’ Choir Northern Ireland recently held its Annual General Meeting in Ballymena Academy and reflected on another fantastic year of growth, friendship and making music.
The meeting was attended by their newly-elected President Robin Swann MLA, the North Antrim Assembly Member and former Minister of Health for Northern Ireland.
Initially established to encourage people from rural communities, and farmers in particular, to get together through the medium of singing, the choir has now expanded to welcome anyone with a connection to, or interest in farming or agriculture.
The Chair, Ivan Johnston, said:
"Everyone who comes along really enjoys the singing sessions and there is a great camaraderie and friendship within the group which is vital in all our lives and it’s good to get away from the farm for a while.
"The Farmers’ Choir currently draws it members mainly from the wider Antrim and Ballymena areas, but anyone is free to join."
The Choir is led by Musical Director Barkley Thompson and has over 40 choristers. Reflecting on the last year, he said:
“This has been a fantastic year for the Choir and, of course, our highlight was singing at the King's Coronation Concert back in May. We will be taking a break over the summer, but resuming again in September when we will be practicing for a number of planned engagements.
North Antrim MLA Robin Swann, speaking following his election as President of the Farmers' Choir NI, commented:
"I have been greatly impressed by the enthusiasm of the Choir and its members and how they have supported their community and each other since they have been formed and I really look forward to working with them; they're a great bunch of people to spend time with and the enjoyment for what they do is clear to see."
Mr Thompson added: “We meet for practice on a monthly basis in Ballymena Academy and if you are interested in coming along in September please get in contact with me on 07709 223 111."