Castletroy and District Lions Club host Senior Lunch


There was singing, dancing and festive cheer at the annual Castletroy and District Lions Club Christmas Senior lunch at the Castletroy Park Hotel last Sunday.

More than 70 invited guests from The Park Village and the Monaleen/Milford Active Retirement group, enjoyed a delicious three course meal, then donned their party hats and danced to the music of Pat Keating and the Clampers band.

This is an annual event sponsored by the Castletroy and District Lions Club.

“We were delighted with the event, and that everybody enjoyed themselves. I would like to thank the staff who were so pleasant and cheerful and the food was delicious. Of course Pat and the band were fantastic and encouraged everybody to sing and get involved,” said Castletroy and District Lions Club President Ms Rita O’Donoghue.

Every Lions Club supports a range of projects in its local community, including health and youth and senior initiatives by organising fundraising activities, and every penny raised goes back into the local community.

Walking in the Air with UL orchestra


Walking in the Air and a selection of Christmas favourites will be performed by the University of Limerick Orchestra (ULO) at their annual Christmas Concert, a great way to get you into the spirit of the festive season.

The concert will include performances from award winning Limerick choir Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ conducted by Orla Colgan Ahern, and Boy Soprano Daniel Ryan who is a student of Limerick School of Music teacher and soloist Emma English.

Conducted by Liam Daly, the orchestra will also perform Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 Op. 70 and the Hungarian March from the Damnation of Faust by Berlioz.

Established in 1992, ULO is an amateur, community orchestra, the musicians are students and staff from the University, Mary Immaculate College, the Redemptorist Centre of Music, the Limerick School of Music and from other music schools across the region, and is funded by the University of Limerick.

Concert is on at 8pm at University Concert Hall Limerick on Saturday December 9. Tickets are available from University Concert Hall Box Office, University of Limerick at 061 331549 or online at www.uch.ie.

TICKETS / Main €15 / Concession €10 / Student €5

Laurel Hill Coláiste perform at ‘Reach Out’ Benefit Concert LIT


 

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It’s been a busy year for the music department and students of Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ who will be taking part in the ‘Reach Out’ benefit concert for ISPCC Childline, at the Millennium Theatre on December 16.

The choir will perform a fifteen minute programme of Christmas favourites and also join with Music Generation, Limerick City Big Band and lots of other artists for group performances which will include some audience participation.

Last April at the Cork International Choral Festival, the choir won the Equal Voice Post Primary National competition for schools and the overall prize for the best school choir of the festival. This success came soon after the orchestras performance in the Dublin Feis Ceoil, where they won the Post-primary School Orchestra competition and the RTE Lyric FM award.

The choir comprising of 121 students from first to sixth class sang, ‘What Sweeter Music’ by John Rutter, and ‘Ceann Dubh Dílis’ by Michael Mc Glynn, accompanied by students, on drum Laura Drennan and Orlaith Stedje on piano.

“It felt fantastic. I’m really proud of them. The girls were so excited, we went down with the expectation to really sing well. I would always say to them once you come off the stage and you feel you have given your very best that’s enough. I don’t think they get nervous I think they just enjoy performing.

“It was very special for the sixth years, because they have been with me through everything. I think the younger ones learn from the older ones about their commitment to the choir, they sound so gorgeous the older ones, the first years would be trying to emulate their sound. We were singing in five parts, that was very difficult for them,” said conductor and music teacher Orla Colgan Ahern.

The orchestra consisting of 41 students from first to sixth years, having won their competition by playing ‘The Thieving Magpie’ by Rossini and ‘Pavane Pour une Infante Défunte’ by Ravel, were invited to play for the gala concert in the National Concert Hall.

“I think it gives them a huge discipline. They get to appreciate lots of different styles of music, they make friends in the choir and orchestra. I hope it instils a love of music, that they can join a choir and be good enough, and to love it. The same in the orchestra, that they would join orchestras when they are in college or if they are living somewhere away, it might be a way in to meet people.

“It’s a huge commitment, I think that’s very good, and the focus of it is good, because with a lot of technological things, it can be hard to hold their attention for a long time because they are always on Facebook or things like that, and I think music dispels that and allows them to focus for a huge period of time,” said Orla.

In January the choir collaborated with De La Salle College, a boys choir in Waterford to perform Fauré’s Requiem in Waterford Cathedral.

“There was a lovely rapport between the two choirs. From the Choral Festival the idea of merging the two choirs came, the idea of giving them a bigger work to do. It was fantastic there were about 200 singers,” said Orla.

This year the choir also performed in The Unlucky Cabin Boy in the Limetree Theatre, the Childline concert and Gulliver’s Travels which was written by Myles Breen and consisted of a collaboration of many groups including Limerick Youth Theatre, Coláiste Nano Nagle, Patterns Dance Collective, Limerick Youth Dance, Music Generation Limerick and the Daughters service users.

“That integration of the Daughters of Charity and ourselves is the most special thing we have done. We are lucky, this is our third year to be involved with it. It’s a privilege.”

In the past the choir have performed in concert with Anthony Kerns, the Vienna Boys choir and the UL Orchestra to name just a few. They also frequently perform new and commissioned works by composers such Ben Hanlon, Michale Holohan, Seamus De Barra, Elaine Agnew, Kathleen Turner and Michael Mc Glynn.

“Every year you have to start building again in the choir and in the orchestra, because you loose fantastic players every June, so you are constantly building and working on them,” Orla added.

This year the traditional musicians of Laurel Hill Coláiste, prepared by past pupil Deirdre Ní Mhaoláin also got to the finals of the Siansa Gael Linn, and represented the school at all Ireland level in the National Concert Hall.

To book tickets for the ‘Reach Out’ benefit concert for ISPCC Childline, at the Millennium Theatre on December 16, contact www.litmt.ie

 

Limerick Panto Society’s Snow White


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Limerick Panto Society’s (LPS) much anticipated production of Snow White starring Emma O’Driscoll, will take place at the Lime Tree Theatre from December 28 to January 8.

Making Christmases magical since it’s foundation in 1985, this will be the society’s 32nd show, produced by Tony Cusack, it promises to fulfil the LPS reputation as a fun family entertainment show, that supports and discovers local talent and will have a charity night in aid of Enable Ireland.

Emma, who has performed with the LPS many times before and is well known to Limerick audiences, has worked as a presenter for RTE children’s television for many years, and last year launched her Limerick based Stage School, Gem Stars.

Starring the renowned Panto Dame, Tim Cusack, and with an original script by John Finn who is also performing in the show, this production will have a unique spin on the fairytale, as Snow White meets colourful characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson, Harry Potter and Hermione.

Also starring Laura Hunt, Grainne McCarthy, Thomas Coneran, Damian Shaw, Keith McGuane, Stuart Mackey, Issey Fenton, Yasmin McGarvey, Shauna O’Halloran, Paul Fitzgerald, from Limerick’s 95FM Radio Breakfast Show, and Paul O’Farrell who will both make their debut performances with LPS.

With a live orchestra under the Musical Direction of Michael Hinchy, a chorus of over 50 and performances by students of Expressive Arts and Spotlight Stage Schools, it will be an evening or matinee of all round musical and comedy entertainment, to lighten the spirit and spread Christmas cheer and merriment.

Tickets are available from www.limetreetheatre.ie

For more information see www.limerickpanto.com

Ancór Christmas Concert


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The award winning Limerick chamber choir, Ancór’s eighth Christmas concert will take place at 8pm, in St Mary’s Cathedral on December 15.

“Our partnership with St Mary’s Cathedral has proved very successful indeed. The concerts are always sold out, and it seems to have become an essential part of Christmas, to come to the Ancór Christmas concert for many in Limerick.

“I’m sure the fact that we serve up seasonal treats such as mulled wine and mince pies at the interval has nothing to do with this,” smiled Ancór choir director Cecilia Madden.

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Cecilia Madded Ancór musical Director

As well as the 35 member mixed voice choir, the concert will feature well known Limerick solo singers, Emma English, Sarah-Ellen Murphy, Kevin Neville, Vlad Smishkewych, and a guest orchestra.

The programme consists of, “The Magnificat, a fabulous work by CPE Bach who was one of Johann Sebastian’s more famous and talented children.

“In addition we will perform a beautiful Christmas cantata by an Italian composer called Ottorino Respighi which was written in 1930. There will be a few familiar carols too,” said Cecilia.

This year Ancór celebrated their tenth anniversary with the launch of their CD Sing Joyfully, and added more trophies to their collection when they won the Early Music competition and Best Limerick Choir in the Limerick Choral Festival.

In preparation for a trip to Slovenia in the summer of 2017, the choir will be staging a number of concerts throughout the country over the coming months.

Cecilia, who is enjoying her role as Deputy Principal at The Limerick School of Music, said the sound of the choir has evolved over time.

“We have always called ourselves a chamber choir but we are nearly too big to say that now. We aim to have that kind of pure sound that may be heard in smaller, tightly blended ensembles, but with the slightly larger numbers we have now, we have the scope to vary the dynamic levels dramatically for expressive purposes,” Cecilia added.

Tickets are €18 (€15 for Seniors and Students) available from St Mary’s Cathedral or online at Ticketsolve – LIT Millennium Theatre

The Ancór CD Sing Joyfully is available from the Hunt Museum

https://www.facebook.com/ancor.ie/

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Jingle Bells for Joseph


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Jingle Bells for Joseph, is a fundraising concert for Joseph Monaghan a little boy from Castletroy, who recently underwent pioneering surgery in Leeds for his Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy, in order to relieve the severe pain he endures 24/7 and to help him walk.

The concert which will take place at Milford Church, Castletroy, December 2, is to raise funds for Joseph’s rehabilitation, which will cost approximately €30,000.

“Joseph is the son of one of my neighbours, and I have known of his condition for some time, and the extraordinary journey he and his parents, Geraldine and Joe are on. We had spoken in the choir about doing a big local fundraiser and Councillor Marian Hurley and her friend Mary Glynn came to me with the idea that Joseph was the ideal candidate.

“Joseph requires intense, long term rehabilitation to ensure this surgery is a long term success for him, so we are trying to do what we can to help the Monaghan family with that cost,” said organiser of the event and proprietor of the Mid-West Vocal Academy and Music School, Owen Gilhooly.

Owen, an internationally renowned vocalist who is well known to Limerick audiences, is currently pursing doctoral studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, where he teaches, established the Mid-West Vocal Academy and Music School in 2011.

The concert of popular and seasonal favourites will feature Owen’s choir Aoide, a mixed voice community choir with 70 members, as well as singers Martha O’ Brien, Conor Gibbons, David Howes, Kelli-Ann Masterson, pianists Conor McCarthy, Irina Dernova and harpist Janet Harbison.

“The concert will feature Limerick born singers returning home to give of their time and talent for this special cause. There will also be some special guests popping in to say hello, and special prizes on the night thanks to some wonderful donations from very generous locals.

“Everything seems to be going well. The choir are frantically preparing some new and exciting repertoire and tickets are moving fast. We are delighted too that University Concert Hall are handling the ticketing for us and our posters are being shared all over social media and in the press,” added Owen.

Tickets are €20, (Family Ticket €40 2 Adults 2 Children) and are available from University Concert Hall Box Office on 061- 331549