Belfast Telegraph

Students eye Christmas number one with charity track for friend with cancer

The boys from St Colman’s College in County Cork have recorded a version of Lean On Me.

A group of young students hope to bag a Christmas number one in honour of their classmate who is battling cancer.

Transition year students at St Colman’s College in Fermoy have recorded a version of Lean On Me, originally a hit for Bill Withers back in 1972.

The release will raise money for their friend who is being treated at Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin, as well as a number of charities.

The project is being overseen by music teacher Sarah Barry, but she said the idea and the impetus came from the students themselves who were keen to do something for their classmate.

“The driving force is the boys,” Miss Barry, 32, told the Press Association.

“The students said they’d love to do something to raise money.

“He’s such a big heart and he’s an incredible student, and his friends have said he’s really touched by what’s happening.”

Miss Barry brought in producer Mark Cahill to help record the song and her own vocals also appear on the track alongside the boys, who are 15 and 16-year-old transition year students at the school in County Cork.

Posted by Colmansstandtogether on Wednesday, November 28, 2018

And while the level of musical aptitude may vary within the group, Miss Barry says the collective sound is something special.

“It’s the energy they’re putting behind it,” she said. “They sound amazing. There’s so much energy and passion behind it.”

The project will raise money for the Ronald McDonald House, the national children’s ambulance service Bumbleance and Crumlin Children’s Hospital, as well as the student and his family.

And it has really started to gain momentum, with support Gaelic games commentator Micheal O Muircheartaigh, star chef Paul Kelly and Olympian Rob Heffernan among the big names sending messages of support.

Olympian athlete Rob Heffernan showing his support for #colmansstandtogether #ronaldmacdonaldhouse #cmrf #bumbleance #christmasno1

Posted by Colmansstandtogether on Monday, November 26, 2018

Now the boys have an unlikely chart success in their sights.

“We are aiming for Christmas number one in Ireland but as big as we can get,” said Miss Barry.

“Who knows, maybe UK number one? But ultimately (we want) to raise as much money as possible for our worthy, worthy causes.”

The track will be available to download and stream from next Wednesday, December 5, with hard copies to be sold locally.

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