Celtic Grace Gospel Choir was founded in 2009 by Tom Dalton. The idea was to form a group that would perform at special events. Tom is a member of both Enniskerry Gospel Choir and Unity Gospel choirs.
The idea for the Singing For Your Mental Health day was born on Christmas Eve, 2007 in Arklow Golf Club. Waiting for the frost to clear, Tom asked Neville Cox, the Musical Director of Enniskerry Gospel Choir, to do a concert in aid of Newcastle Hospital and Mental Health Ireland. He agreed and the rest is history. Judy McGrath and Barbara Davis came on board and the concert took place in March, 2008, one of the highlights of Tom’s life.
The following year, Ireland celebrated World Mental Health Week from 5–10th October 2009 with a national week of choral singing, promoting the message that…Choral Singing is Good for your Mental Health! Choirs up and down the country got together with local Mental Health Associations to promote this message. Tom asked for volunteers from Enniskerry choir to come and sing at a Concert in St Agnes Church in Crumlin on the 10th of October 2009 for the National Singing For Your Mental Health Day and three of the members obliged, Louise Shearer, Neville Cox and Tom himself. This was the first appearance of Celtic Grace Gospel Choir. Celtic Grace is now made up of seven or eight people drawn as the need arises from two choirs that Tom is a member of, the Enniskerry Gospel Choir and Unity Gospel Choir.
The choir performed at the 25th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony of the Irish Motor Neuron Association at Farmleigh House, Phoenix Park in November, 2010. This was the day when the snow hit Dublin, and the members had to dig their cars out in
order to get there. The choir has continued to support the event ever since.
They have performed at several events including the Gospel Rising Festival last year and the Blackrock Animation Festival this year. The highlight of their year this year was performing as the opening act for the RTE Big Music Week Train event, performing alongside such greats as Christy Moore, Luka Bloom and Eleanor McEvoy to name but a few. RTÉ Big Music Week was a huge success. Thousands of people around the country came out to celebrate the very best of home-grown musical talent, while hundreds of thousands tuned in on-air and online. The RTÉ Big Music Week train travelled all over Ireland, showcasing the work of Irish songwriters, singers and musicians, with broadcasts across all of RTÉ’s services. Search for Celtic Grace on Facebook to see photos from the event.