In The Mood

On 1 December, the West Cork Choral Singers will perform a very special evening of music at their beloved Abbeystrewry Church in Skibbereen.

The evening will signal the end of an era for the choir, as Diana Llewellyn – the choir’s musical director since 1998 – will take her final bow.

Diana took charge of a fledgling choir twenty-one years ago and guided it to unimagined heights, including several notable ‘firsts’, an Irish premiére for The Armed Man in Schull in November 2008 plus partaking in the world premiére of Sing the Music is Given in Carnegie Hall, New York, in January 2018.

So, while this may be an evening of a little nostalgia, it will also be an evening of diverse and fun-filled music, an early invitation to get into the mood for the upcoming festive season.

Unleashed: Christmas Concert

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.

The Creation

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

Invite to Carnegie Hall

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

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