The West Cork Choral Singers’ Christmas concert was a festive potpourri, with the choir as a whole performing a seasonal repertoire. In addition, various choir members teamed up in smaller units to sing, play an instrument or read poetry. The variety of the ‘acts’ made for a lighthearted evening of entertainment, with the mulled wine and mince pies adding to the spirit of the evening and of the season.
Your last chance to see the West Cork Choral Singers perform live – ‘Unleashed for Christmas’ – before they partake in the New York premiere of Sing! The Music was Given in Carnegie Hall on 15 January.
On Sunday 8 October 2017 at 8pm the West Cork Choral Singers will perform The Creation
by Haydn (Sung in English) in Abbeystrewry Church, Skibbereen – admission: €15
Director: Diana Llewellyn
Pianists: Annabel Adams & Antoinette Baker
Soprano: Deirdre Moynihan
Tenor: Ryan Morgan
Bass: Jeffrey Ledwidge
Tickets available from Thornhill Bros, Main Street, Skibbereen
Also available at the door
Need we say more!
For anyone new a map to the practice hall can be found here. Apparently the much maligned postcode works now in Google Maps – P81 T880 – should get you there, too.
At the West Cork Choral Singers’ ‘Encore’ concert in Abbeystrewery Church on Sunday 2 April 2017, Diana Llewellyn, musical director, explained, as she introduced the ‘Benedictus’ from The Armed Man, that she comes from the same Welsh chapel-based musical tradition as Sir Karl Jenkins – they even studied in the same institution, albeit a few years apart.
It was these Welsh connections, therefore, which led to one of the outstanding achievements of the choir to date, their performance of Jenkins’ The Armed Man (A Mass for Peace) at Schull Community College in late 2007. As befits a choir with strong community roots, the hall was filled to overflowing. The most-performed living composer in the world went down well in West Cork in what was the first performance of the complete work in Ireland.
In April 2016 the choir, together with an orchestra of local musicians and soloists, also performed Jenkins’ Stabat Mater, based on the 13th-century prayer, in Abbeystrewery Church.
It was totally appropriate, therefore, that when the Distinguished Concerts International New York – whose motto is ‘changing lives through the power of performance’ – were searching for choirs from around the world to perform The Music of Sir Karl Jenkins, they discovered the close affinity of the West Cork Choral Singers to the Welsh composer’s work. Having heard samples of the choirs’ work, an invitation was extended for the WCCS to partake in the concert, which will take place in the Stern Auditorium of the Carnegie Hall on 15 January 2018 under conductor Jonathan Griffith.
The four-day trip includes two half-day rehearsals with choirs from some 14 countries prior to the concert, which will feature a US première for Jenkins’ Sing! The Music was Given (based on a poem by Thomas Moore) plus The Armed Man.
Performing in this concert, as well as a huge musical learning experience, will also mean that the WCCS will be privileged to première Sing! The Music was Given in Ireland at a later date.
There is, however, no such thing as a ‘free concert’. To defray the costs of the trip and performance, the choir will work very hard, as it always does, to attract local mentors and sponsorship.
You can visit the WCCS crowdfunding initiative or click on the link below to donate directly
The West Cork Choral Singers are shown above performing this haunting piece by Gabriel Fauré to a large and appreciative audience at Abbeystrewery Church in Skibbereen on Sunday 2 April. The evening, entitled ‘Encore’, also featured work by Johannes Brahms, Antonin Dvořák and Karl Jenkins.
Annabel Adams on piano and Justin Grounds on violin provided musical backing. Justin’s solo violin accompaniment of the ‘Benedictus’ from The Armed Man was especially moving.
Rosario, Diana, Annabel and Claire in happy mood after an excellent evening of music. It was, sadly, Rosario’s last evening with the choir as she, and her family, are returning shortly to Spain. Rosario provided laughter, great mussel cookery and castanet playing to the choir during her stay in West Cork. A fond adiós from all at the West Cork Choral Singers.
On Sunday 2 April the West Cork Choral Singers make a welcome return to Abbeystrewry Church to perform works by, among others, Johannes Brahms, Antonin Dvořák and Karl Jenkins.
As always, Diana Llewellyn will lead the choir assisted by accompanist Annabel Adams.
Justin Grounds, locally-based violinist and composer will be a guest soloist on the night.
Tickets, at €10, are available from Thornhill Brothers Electrical, Main Street, Skibbereen or at the door on the evening.
There is a downloadable poster if you care to print it or distribute it among your friends on Facebook or other social media.
No sooner has the dust settled on their wonderful performance of Stabat Mater than the West Cork Choral Singers are busy again, this time playing host to the Boo Chamber Choir. Boo is a parish on the outskirts of Stockholm and their choir has existed in various forms since the early 1900s. It began life as the Boo Church Choir, then became the Boo Cantabile Chamber Choir and, in 2015, changed its name to the Boo Chamber Choir.
The choir has high aspirations with some 20 committed singers. Musically they place an emphasis on the classical repertoire, including both a-cappella music plus larger choral and orchestral works of both traditional and contemporary composers.
Since 1999 the choir has been conducted by Helena Engardt. Helena studied church music at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and, since 1996, is also as organist in Boo parish.
So please do come along to Holy Trinity church on the Colla Road in Schull on Friday 27 May for an evening of cultural exchange. Camilla Griehsel who performed so powerfully in the Karl Jenkins work will provide a bridge between the cultures as she is a member of that small band of Swedes who call West Cork home.