Monday, December 17, 2012

A Twitter Xmas Single Thank You

Hello tweeps,

This is just a timely thank you to all who were involved in this year's Twitter Xmas Single - think of it like the movie credits at the end of a movie.

Directed by: Brenda Drumm
Twitter Xmas Single was an idea tweeted by Brenda Drumm in November 2011. Her tweet snowballed and a group of 140 went on to record the first ever Twitter Xmas Single. Holding on for Christmas is the Twitter Xmas Single 2 #TXS2

Writers: Holding on for Christmas is an original Irish Christmas song which was written by Ian Callanan, Brenda Drumm, Alan Chadwick and Gavin Byrne in 2012.

Producer and Arranger: Ian Callanan


Guitar, percussion, synth and programming: Ian Callanan
Uileann Pipes, Whistles, Bodhran: Darragh Ó Héiligh
Electric Guitar: Derek Dunne
Guitar: David Byrne
Drums: Kevin McDonnell
Synth: Gavin Byrne
Strings: Christoph Demetriou, Roisin Magee, David Byrne, Sarah Doyle, Katie Higgs, Leah Nolan, Timothy Telford, Dearbháil Mc Donald, Davina Baker and Sophie Higgs

Engineered and recorded at:

Sonic Cottage Studio - Cathal Molloy
Seinn Studios - Ian Callanan
Retreat Recording Studio - Paul Keegan
Live recording at The Westin Hotel, Dublin - Darragh O'Reilly
Mixed and arranged by Cathal Molloy & Ian Callanan at Sonic Cottage Studio
CD and iTunes artwork by Anthony Curtis @735songs

CD Production:
Special thanks to Kelly Consultants who sponsored the CD duplication

Paul Sherwood
Shane Murphy
Emily Gallagher
Brenda Drumm

Official video: 
Video footage recorded by Brenda Drumm, Bryan Glennon, Padraig Meredith
Edited and produced: Ian Callanan

The Westin Hotel, Westmoreland Street, Dublin

The Cake: 

Twitter Xmas Single launch cake: Halo Cafe Celbridge

Public Relations:
With thanks to Host PR and Caroline Kennedy PR

Pull up banners prepared and sponsored by RPD Limited

A very special thanks to all the voices on this year's Twitter Xmas Single - you will find a list elsewhere on this blog. Without all the tweeps coming on board we would not have had anyone to bring the song to life. Special thanks to those who have now taken part on Twitter Xmas Single 1 and 2.

A word of thanks to @consoleireland this year's charity. Hopefully we have raised awareness and some funds.

Star tweeter:
Our star tweeter award goes to two people Tynan Hooper and Seamus Kearney who gave their heart and soul to sharing the song and getting it out there into the twittersphere.

Availability of song:
The song is available to download from iTunes at the following link for 99 cent and all monies raised will go directly to Console:

The song is also available on all other online music stores.

Copies of the song are available on CD but we do not have a distributor so they are being sent out via Console and directly to stockists who have asked for them. If you want copies to sell please contact Brenda on 087 233 7797.

A huge thank you to all who have downloaded the song or bought CDs.

And finally:

We apologise if we have left anyone out.

A special word of thanks from me to Ian Callanan for putting together such a fantastic finished product.

I loved every minute of it - there were so many laughs and so many great connections made from Twitter Xmas Single 1 to #TXS2 and these stories will find their way into a book some day.

I am immensly proud of what we produced in a celeb-free zone! It is a shame that the song did not get the airplay it deserved or the attention of those in television land - a little sad really for such a good news story and such a worthy cause.

But sometimes the interest is only there when there is a celebrity involved.........

I hope everyone is very proud of what we have achieved for a second year in a row....

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.... you are all stars in my twittersphere.



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Twitter Xmas Single 2 to be launched on 9 Dec 2012

So we are finally ready for launch - or Go for launch as they would say in NASA. The song is ready, the |CDs have arrived, the venue is sorted and we have most of our 140 characters ready to attend the launch of Twitter Xmas Single 2012.

The song is Holding on for Christmas, an original song written especially for this year by Ian Callanan, Brenda Drumm, Gavin Byrne and Alan Chadwick.

At 2.00pm on Sunday next, 9 December we will be back in the Banking Hall in the Westin Hotel in Dublin for the launch.

This year the Twitter Xmas Single is being done for Console. This is what they do:

`Console was established in 2002 by Paul Kelly after he had experienced the grief of losing a loved one by Suicide. Through his loss, Paul recognised a need for a dedicated Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention Service here in Ireland.  

Since then Console has developed into a National Organisation supporting people in Suicidal Crisis and those Bereaved by Suicide through Professional Counselling, Support and Helpline Services.

Console is a National Service with Centres in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Athlone, Wexford and Kildare.

When we asked Twitter what charity should benefit from this year's song, one of the most common answers was something for suicide or something for young people. We have all read about the many tragedies this year of people young and old taking their own lives. Console is doing life-saving work and we are thrilled to be working with them for TwitterXmasSingle this year.

Now at this stage you all probably know how this all started! You don't? Well back on 19 November 2011 @BrendaDrumm a mum of two from Newbridge in Co Kildare and someone who is living with an incurable form of bone marrow cancer, tweeted a tweet. The tweet suggested that the people of Twitter come together to do a song and that is exactly what happened last year. The song was a beautiful cover of Winter Song and it went to number one on iTunes and number 8 in the Irish charts.

So Twitter Xmas Single was born and when it came to deciding if there should be a Twitter Xmas Single 2, Brenda tweeted a tweet to see who would respond this year. There was another great response and so #TSX2 was born.

The song was recorded on Sunday 11 November last in the Westin Hotel in Dublin. All the voices you will hear on the song are amateur singers. All the musicians and technicians gave their time to the track for free. In fact everyone involved - 200 people - gave their time and talents for free.

Holding on for Christmas is an upbeat original Irish Christmas song and it will be available for download from iTunes from Sunday 9 December and on all online music stores. CDs are also available  and stockist information will be posted at a later stage.

This is the best of people's goodwill on Twitter coming together in real life for a wonderful cause and it is a real story of Christmas joy and hope.

Join in on Twitter by tweeting @brendadrumm or following the hashtags #TXS2 and #TwitterXmasSingle

5 December 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Update on what's happening with TwitterXmasSingle2

Hi there,

Brenda here with an update on what has been happening since we all got together on Sunday 11 November.

In short Ian, myself and other have been working hard behind the scenes on Holding on for Christmas and it sounds amazing.

Ian finished it and I heard the final mastered version of the song today and it sounds wonderful. I think you will love it, I hope that you love it as much as we do.

The artwork for the CD has been done and this is what the front cover of the CD will look like

Anthony Curtis @735songs is the very talented person responsible for the creation of the artwork which is gorgeous.

So what happens now? 

Well we are working on the video at the moment. Ian is branching out and lending his talents to doing the video. We have some great footage from the Westin Hotel and from the other venues we used for recording the music and the pipes etc.

The song has been booked in with iTunes and other online music stores. But for the song to count for the charts we need you all to download it from iTunes or to buy it from one of the shops that it will [hopefully] be in. The song will be 99 cent to buy on iTunes.

We will have copies of the CD available at the launch for you to buy. These will cost €5. Now I know you are thinking why spend €5 euro when I can get away with 99cent? The answer is three fold:
1. Because it will be nice to have a CD memento of TXS to look back on and to play back in years to come
2. Because they will make nice Christmas presents for family and friends
3. Because the more CDs we sell, the more money we will make for Console Ireland, our chosen charity.

We still have a few hurdles to get over and we need as much media exposure and radio air play as possible.

The song will be sent by email to all radio stations in advance of the launch but it will be embargoed until the time of the launch on Sunday 9 December.

If you are someone who works on a radio or TV show or in other media then we need your help to spread the word about Twitter Xmas Single 2.

We are doing this for Console Ireland who do such amazing work. Many of us have been touched by suicide and we have read about the tragic deaths of so many people this year. We need to say NO to SUICIDE and to let people know that there are wonderful people like those in CONSOLE who can help and reach out a hand.

Hopefully Holding on for Christmas will raise money for their life-saving work and will raise awareness that they exist.

Come on board with us.

More updates soon.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A bit about Sunday

Just to update you about Sunday.

We are recording from 1pm in the Westin Hotel, Dublin. To give the hotel a chance to get organised please do not arrive any earlier than 12 noon - the day is going to be a long one!

Tea and coffee will be provided by the wonderful folks at the Westin Hotel but please bring a bottle of water as there will be a lot of singing!

If you could wear something Christmassy and bring something for your head - a woolly hat, a Santa hat, reindeer ears ...... you get the picture.

Because we are recording in the banking hall in the hotel, we will not have a studio or a soundproof area so once we start the recording it will limit us a little bit in terms of having an area for chatting or for children to play. We simply do not have the space! We will also be recording a video on the day so we will need to clear areas to set up some shots etc.  I suppose we are looking at the Westin as a recording studio on Sunday and we want to get the choir section done and dusted as soon as we can so as we can let you all home.

Once the choir part has been recorded we will audition singers for the solo parts. We will make a decision based on the voice best suited to the track and the voices which work best together in harmony. It is not about picking one voice over another because one is better - it will all be based on the voices and how well they suit the track.

We have arranged for a sign in upon arrival so please leave your name, twittername and contact phone number. We will have some very cool teenagers on the sign in so be nice!

If anyone has any last minute questions please tweet @brendadrumm using #txs2

We are really looking forward to Sunday and Ian and I really hope that you like the song.


Monday, November 5, 2012

This is why we are doing Twitter Xmas Single 2

So TwitterXmasSingle was great fun last year, a magical experience, a day full of laughter but there was a serious side to what we were doing - raising funds for Unit * in Holles Street and raising awareness of the wonderful work done for the tiniest babies who arrive into the world too early. 

This year we hope that the recording will be just as magical an experience and that there will be lots of fun and laughter too. Once again, there is a serious side to what we are doing this year as we are trying to raise funds for Console. 

This is who they are and what they do: 

Console was established in 2002 by Paul Kelly after he had experienced the grief of losing a loved one by Suicide. Through his loss, Paul recognised a need for a dedicated Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention Service here in Ireland.  

Since then Console has developed into a National Organisation supporting people in Suicidal Crisis and those Bereaved by Suicide through Professional Counselling, Support and Helpline Services.

Console is a National Service with Centres in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Athlone, Wexford and Kildare.

So now that you know who they are and what they do please support us with TwitterXmasSingle 2 once the song is released. Download it and spread the word. You don't even have to wait for the song, you can donate to them now. All the information you need and all the different ways you can donate are available on their website at the following link:

I doubt that there will be a single person in the TwitterXmasSingle choir who has NOT been touched by suicide. I know that I have. Last week when we made the decision to approach Console about the TwitterXmasSingle, I had no idea that within half an hour of contacting them, that I would hear about the tragic death, the sucide of a friend. 

Please support the life-saving work that Console are doing and if you are feeling down, feeling suicidal then please reach out to someone. 

See for information. 



TXS 2 - what we still need tweeps

Okay so by now you probably know that we are doing a Twitter Xmas Single 2, right? Okay good.

We are announcing the venue and times later on today so stand by.

There are still some things we need help with:

  1. A graphic designer to design the cover for the single for iTunes and other online stores and to the design for the CD insert
  2. On the subject on CDs we will only be able to produce CDs if we get sponsorship so any person out there who might be able to sponsor the CDs, we would love to hear from you twitterxmassingle <at>
  3. Banners and visuals for use in the venue - anyone who can put together a couple of pull-up banners and a backdrop of Christmassy stuff and the words Twitter Xmas Single 2 and the hashtag #txs2
  4. If anyone would like to do props like the delightful ones we had last year of twitter birds etc, then that would be
  5. We might still have some musical slots to be filled but we will update this later.
  6. Press photographers would be particularly welcome to the recording on Sunday 11th November. 
  7. We will have more information about other photographers once we have the venue confirmed. [Just to clarify this - amateur photographers are welcome of course. Up to a couple of days ago we thought we would be in a recording studio and space was very very limited for photographers. In trying to manage expectations, we asked  non press photographers to bear with us until we had more information. We now have the venue confirmed and space is NOT an issue so 'amateur' photographers are welcome but as with everyone taking part on the day, they will have to register with @brendadrumm using the hashtag #txs2. Hope this is now very very clear!]
Updated: 5 November 2012 

The TwitterXmasSingle 2 List

Below is a list of all those who have signed up to take part in Twitter Xmas Single 2. Please email me at if your name is not features. We have had no many tweeps signing up that we may have missed one or two. Names from Facebook will also be added later today: 

The List
  1. @brendadrumm
  2. @icannanan
  3. @ckennedypr
  4. @mduffywriter
  5. @TheWestinDublin 
  6. @maidrinruadh
  7. @bingobaa
  8. @carolinefraher
  9. @ciaramcduffman
  10. @maireadflanagan
  11. @doalty
  12. @SpNeedsParents
  13. @cagssoc
  14. @clairehearty
  15. @bsweetmanmorris
  16. @detteus
  17. @pekalton
  18. @lightnessalways
  19. @mariondublin
  20. @goldenplec
  21. @50ftroman
  22. @EK_Tobin
  23. @h_a_quinn 
  24. @emma_clerkin
  25. @ancabhancailin
  26. @speedyhargo
  27. @niamheyb
  28. @iacanlune
  29. @elleplace
  30. @fleurman
  31. @heres_Ty
  32. @eileen27
  33. @davidclearskies
  34. @thechurch_ie
  35. @jilliangodsil
  36. @toruairc
  37. @phil_garland
  38. @jasminkagriffin
  39. @meadejonathan
  40. @samanthaelong
  41. @munstermaid
  42. @subuckley
  43. @sab_mc
  44. @clairemaryr
  45. @kevinmcdonnel
  46. @carenkennedy
  47. @aideenkelly
  48. @lisaok
  49. @itscherrysue
  50. @barbarascully
  51. @missblt
  52. @sandracoffey
  53. @JFTaxi and his lovely wife 
  54. @bryangln
  55. @dionsis
  56. @johnivory 
  57. @dleacht
  58. @hylandireland
  59. @mralphleonard
  60. @angharadW
  61. @735songs
  62. @juneshannon
  63. @suejleonard 
  64. PaulMurray
  65. Astra O Leary
  66. Noel cuddy
  67. Moya Muldowney
  68. Roisin Magee 
  69. @claireguckian
  70. @nightlord2009 
  71. @digitaldarragh 
  72. @consoleireland [Our charity of choice this year] 
  73. @marketmusic
  74. David Byrne
  75. Aoibhin Redmond
  76. Heather Aiken
  77. @aisling_larkin AislingLarkin
  78. Charlie Heron
  79. Sandra Coffey
  80. Joey [not the one from Friends] 
  81. Eileen White
  82. Louise McCartney
  83. Gavin Byrne
  84. Christine Saloranta
  85. Jennifer McKeever
  86. Kevin McDonnell
  87. Eimear Smith 
  88. @auntyamo
  89. @madelineXD
  90. @klutzyclayur 
  91. @piperhawk 
  92. @hollyfrodo 
  93. @mauradonohoe 
  94. Chloe Lahart 
  95. @enda_story_
  96. @swimmerdonegal
  97. @buachailldana2
  98. Clare O'Driscoll
  99. Davinia Murray
  100. Kieran Murray 
  101. Alex Cuddy
  102. Aideen Kelly 
  103. Darren O Reilly
  104. Niall Murphy
  105. Alan Chadwick
  106. @embergreen
  107. @powersflowers
  108. @seamuskearney 
  109. @aislingcahill 
  110. Brenda Kador 
  111. @denisedeegan 
  112. @marysweetman 
  113. @aineeco 
  114. @daveleavy1
  115. @talkpiece 
  116. @sarahisnothere 
  117. @IrPsych
  118. @pdrgmrdt 
  119. @carm_m_h
  120. @grawbod
  121. Student 1
  122. Student 2
  123. Student 3
  124. Student 4
  125. Student 5
  126. Student 6
  127. Student 7
  128. Student 8
  129. Student 9
  130. Student 10 [names to be confirmed]
  131. Leah Nolan
  132. Leah's Mum 
  133. Karen Nolan
  134. Rachel Fitzgerald 
  135. @shane_murphy
  136. Anna Murphy
  137. @DearbhailDibs
  138. @richjm612

There are some more names to be added but just sourcing twitter handles for them. There are also some people to be added who contacted us by email and we will add those shortly. 

Apologies if your name is not on the list. We have asked people to opt in this year so if you want to be involved then you need to tweet @brendadrumm using the hashtag #txs2