All roads will lead to the Silverbirch Hotel on Wednesday evening, as Cara McGillion is set to launch her debut album during a very special and emotional charity concert in honour of her dear grandparents, who will be looking down from heaven as proud as punch.
Apty titled ‘Midweek Hooley’, not only will the melodious show feature the sweet sounds of Cara’s new singles, ‘I’m Alright’ and ‘Route 66’, and other favourites from the Omagh woman’s highly-anticipated album, ‘This Is Me’, but it will also be filled with a host of star-studded performances by local musicians.
Indeed, taking to the epic stage, too, will be Strabane’s very own Hugo Duncan; Lee Matthews of Castlederg; Barry Kirwan of Omagh; Florence Given from Fintona; Justin McGurk of Cookstown; Seamus J of Dungannon; Malcolm Coulter of Enniskillen; Georgia McCusker of Irvinestown; Katie McParland of Craigavon; and Noel Boland, based in Wicklow.
All proceeds on the night will be going to two charities extremely close to Cara’s heart: ‘The Fire Fighters Charity’ and ‘Friends of the Cancer Centre’.
And while launching her debut album is certainly the realisation of a dream, the 20-year-old told the Tyrone Herald that she will be facing mixed feelings on the night.
“This night will be a very bittersweet one for me,” Cara described. “This is because, on one hand, it will be the best night of my life; getting to show everyone my hardest work. But, there will be two massive figures in my life missing from those seats in front of me.
“I lost my Nanny Pat eight years ago, and it is still equally as hard as it was then,” Cara said. “She is the reason that I am singing.
“As, if it weren’t for her giving me that little push I needed to perform, I don’t know where i would be.
“It is because of this, and for their compassion throughout her long battle with cancer, that I chose to help raise money for the ‘Friends of the Cancer Centre’ on the night of my album launch,” she said.
Cara added that it was her Granda Pat who was ‘her biggest fan’.
“I love it when people ask me ‘what made you want to sing country music?’, because the only answer I am able to give them is ‘because of my Granda Pat’.
“He was my biggest fan.
“Any milestone that I hit in my music, from my first single, to my first concert, and even in my biggest failures, he was there through it all,” she said. “He was my personal jukebox, while his wealth of knowledge of the music scene was unbelievable. I loved hearing all the stories he told.
“He was also a man of great courage,” Cara added. “And that is why I have chosen to honour The Firefighters Charity on my launch night, as well. My granda was my rock.
“And although my Nanny Pat and Granda Pat won’t be there beside me on the night, they will both very much there in everyone’s hearts.
“I hope I make them both proud.”
About the charities
Friends of the Cancer Centre’s work focuses on three key areas: Patient care; patient comfort; and research, and the charity’s work supports the services provided by the health service. However, everything they do to support local cancer patients relies on the wonderful supporters, such as Cara, who raise vital funds for them.
Meanwhile, The Fire Fighters Charity help all serving and retired members of the UK’s fire family to enjoying healthier and happier lives.
From supporting their mental, physical and social needs, to helping them deal with life-changing illnesses or injuries, the charity treats each person individually, and gives them the tools get back upon their feet.
l Cara McGillion’s ‘Midweek Hooley’ launch of her brand new album, ‘This Is Me’, with special guest performances, will take place at the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh, this Wednesday (November 23) from 8pm until 11pm. Doors open at 7.30pm, and tickets cost £10.
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