Over 200 people - aged six to 76! - from the Catholic Parishes of Letefoho and the Lower North Shore (LNSP) have been working feverishly in recent weeks to put together the fourth annual LETS fundraising music album. Their goal is to give a very special Christmas present this year - raising vital funds to support the 25,000 people in the developing community of Letefoho in Timor Leste.
"We have come full circle," says LNSP Music Director, Lisa Lewis who has spearheaded the initiative for the past four years, along with her husband, professional musician, composer and music producer, John Lewis.
"We have had JOY and HOPE, and this year we are bringing PEACE. This album is a celebration of faith, music and connectedness. We especially celebrate the music of our sister parish in Letefoho as this CD features their fantastic choir and musicians," Lisa adds.
Priced at $15, the PEACE CD will be on sale at all LNSP masses from 12 November. Funds raised through sales of this year's PEACE music album will go to improve access to clean water, sanitation, education and community development projects in Letefoho.
"Our two communities have reached out to each other - helping to support the people of Letefoho in surmounting the difficulties of their war-torn past brings the people of LNSP the extraordinary joy of giving," says LETS Chairperson, Georgina Loughnan.
"On behalf of LETS, I would like to thank all of the very special people who have come together to make PEACE a reality this year. It truly is a celebration of the power of the human heart to overcome the troubles in our world," Georgina adds.
"So many people have given their time and talents - thank you especially to Lisa and John Lewis for the enormous contribution they have made over the past four years. John made a special trip to Letefoho this year to record the local choirs. Huge thanks also to Fr Helio, Parish Priest of Letefoho and Fr Brian Moloney, Parish Priest of the Catholic Parish of the Lower North Shore (LNSP) for their support," says Georgina.
LETS also extends heart-felt thanks to the many people who contributed to PEACE - members of Letefoho Choir, Northbridge Children's Choir, St Thomas's School Choir, St Philip Neri School Choir and the Combined Choirs of the LNSP; countless musicians and singers; composer/arranger, Jessica Wells; songwriters - Michael Mangan, and Casey and Lewis for donating recording rights; Raymond Cripps for designing the CD cover; and Dianne Cripps for overseeing production.