Local composer leaves president speechless with 'star' performance

Published 07/11/2012 | 09:41

Frank Taaffe, President of the Shackleton School, President Michael D. Higgins, Niamh Browne, soprano, Julianstown and Michael Holohan, composer, Drogheda.

DROGHEDA COMPOSER Michael Holohan left the President of Ireland speechless recently -- not an easy feat, you will agree!

The occasion was a surprise performance of 'Stargazer', the setting of President Michael D. Higgin's poem to music by our local composer in Athy, Co Kildare last week, and made up for the earlier premiere being unfortunately cancelled. 'I was delighted when The Shackleton International Autumn School requested the premiere of Stargazer in honour of the President's visit to Athy,' Michael told the Drogheda Independent.

'The song was performed as a complete surprise and after the premiere, I presented him with a framed copy of the score. He was lost for words.'

Niamh Browne, the wonderful Drogheda soprano performed the composer's setting and received a standing ovation from the huge crowd gathered in the Athy Heritage and Shackleton Museum. The distinguished guests included the Hon. Alexandra Shackelton (granddaughter of Sir Ernest, who visited Drogheda in May this year), Falcon Scott, grandson of Scott of the Antarctic and Brendan O'Brien, grandson of the infamous Tom Crean.

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