Standing ovation at Stormont for Accolade Community choir

Members of Accolade Community Arts choir say they are ‘deeply honoured’ to have been invited to perform at the Stormont Parliament Buildings on Tuesday, December 1.

Friday, 11th December 2015, 6:39 am
Accolade Community choir welcomed by Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and colleagues at Stormont Parliament Buildings. Image courtesy of

The invitation came from Jo-Anne Dobson MLA in recognition of the excellent standards of the choir and its dedicated programme of community outreach work with the elderly, less able bodied and ethnic minority groups throughout counties Armagh and Down in the last two years.

Accolade Community Association was established in 2013 by Musical Directors, Vessie Ivanova and Nikolay Ivanov.

Under their outstanding professionalism, Accolade has grown to include two choirs based in Banbridge and Newry, an orchestra and a Bulgarian dance troupe. The organisation prides itself in being open to everyone and has over 100 members with 12 nationalities represented.

Anne Dobson MLA welcomes Musical Director, Veselka Ivanova and the Accolade Community choir to Parliament Buildings, Stormont. Image courtesy of

Members have performed at hundreds of community and corporate events as diverse as BuskFest Banbridge, St Patrick’s Day concerts, the Famine Commemoration ceremony in Newry city, local halls and churches, weddings and the list goes on.

The Accolade choir filled the Great Hall at Stormont to capacity as they sang four key pieces for the occasion.

The choir received a standing ovation from all Political Members and the many guests present.

Speaking on behalf of the choir, Mary Cunningham from Newry said: “Performing at Stormont was one of the proudest moments for Accolade.

“We are deeply indebted to Vessie and Nikolay for coming here to Northern Ireland and bringing us all together.

“They are helping us to achieve true standards of excellence and they are such a warm and loving couple. Being in the choir is like being part of a big happy family.”

Accolade would also like to express their sincere gratitude to the Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council and Newry, Mourne & Down councils, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Tesco Extra Banbridge and Newry and many others for their ongoing support.

Chairman of the Accolade Community Arts Organisation, Andrew Kernaghan said: “Veselka (Vessie) and Nikolay have not only been great colleagues to work with, but also great friends over the past few years and we all look forward to a long and exciting future together.””

For further information about Accolade and our activities, please contact Vessie Ivanova, Musical Director on 07857 125 893 or Sandra Parker, secretary on 07801 417 618 or email [email protected]