A Concert, organised by Joan Murray with the RosHall choir and other special guest artists took place in the Abbey Hall, Roscrea recently. What a splendid night of music, singing and storytelling; reeling in the years 1916-2016 which entertained a packed audience who joined in singing the chorus of many well-known songs!
Mr. Adrian Hewson MC for the night; who is always full of wit and charm introduced the various artists as he took the audience on a voyage of ten decades of Irish history through music, songs and stories.
The Roshall Choir comprised of singers from Roscrea, The Pike of Rushall and Kilcolman whom are mostly members of church choirs, and came together especially for this concert. Many of them made their debut on stage at this concert.
The choir opened with a medley of songs: ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ led by soloist Kees van der Leij, from Holland, ‘When Irish eyes are smiling’ led by soloist James Hodgins, and ‘If you’re Irish come into the parlour’.
Ava Meagher, a college student gave a very moving rendition of ‘Roses of Picardy’; one of the most famous songs of World War I which was recorded by Count John Mc Cormack in 1919, a beautiful choral arrangement of ‘Beautiful Isle of somewhere’ and ‘Westering Home’ popular songs of the 1920’s followed.
In reeling in the 1930’s the decade in which many concerts were broadcast over the air waves from the Abbey Hall and traditional music was a part of the popular culture of Roscrea, Darragh Carey Kennedy (All Ireland Champion on the banjo and mandolin) and Jim Egan( Accordionist and entertainer at concerts in Boru Boru Concerts, Cashel) set the audience’ feet a tapping with the their virtuoso playing of reels, jigs and hornpipes.
Also in the hall, where many operas were hosted, the eras of the musicals of the 1930s, 40’s 50’s and 60’s was recalled by the choir in songs such as ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ led by Madeline Dollard and Geraldine Bryan’; ‘Oh what a beautiful morning’ and Some Enchanted Evening’ led by Patrick Kelly; and ‘Edelweiss’ led by Jack Bergin.
Breffni Fitzpatrick, who is studying voice and musicianship in the Royal Irish Academy of Music under Virgina Kerr delighted the audience with her rendition of songs such as ‘I could have danced all night’, ‘The Garten Mother’s Lullaby’, and Batti, Batti, o bel Masetto from Don Giovanni by Mozart and ‘Hark! The Echoing Air’ from The Fairy Queen by Purcell.