Wednesday 13 December 2017

The Sound of Music comes to Carlingford!

Dolce performing during the festival.
Dolce performing during the festival.

Friday last saw the launch of the fourth annual Carlingford Choral Festival in the Holy Trinity Heritage Centre and what a success it turned out to be for participating choirs and audiences.

Bush Post Primary Choir was first on stage and performed beautifully under the expert guidance of choir mistress Kim Lynch. Cór Chairlinne was next on stage and performed a new repertoire of lovely songs. One of the highlights was Shaun Davey's 'Ripples in the Rockpools' and The Divine Comedy's Songs of Love was enthusiastically applauded. Deansrath Community College Gospel Choir have attended every festival since its inception and yet again thrilled with their superb repertoire of modern and African music. Everyone was most impressed with their rendition of Katie Perry's 'Roar'.

Dolce from Dublin sang a lovely mix of Irish and African seasonal songs and Enchiriadis Treis from Malahide had the audience join in for in a wonderful performance of 'White Christmas' from their most enjoyable Christmas repertoire.

Le Choeur d'Aumetz from France closed the concert with a superb repertoire of Slovenian, Russian and French folk songs and love songs, translated eloquently by M.C. John Woods, which left the audience spellbound. They had to be seen and heard to be believed. They were then joined onstage by all choirs to sing together the beautiful Italian folk song 'Signore Delle Cime' which proved quite an emotional experience for those present.

Choirs retired to the sailing club where finger food was devoured with relish and an enjoyable sing song ensued.

It was an early start next morning for choirs as they walked up to the Slate Rock on Slieve Foy for an open air performance. This was most enjoyable and greatly appreciated by the mountain walkers lucky enough to hear the beautiful music. As one visitor remarked, it was like 'The Sound of Music'.

Next on the busy schedule was singing in the Dominican Abbey and on Tholsel Street. Deansrath, Le Choeur d'Aumetz, Cór Chairlinne, along with Cór Chairlinne na nÓg, sang an eclectic mix of tunes which was greatly appreciated by the newlyweds who arrived for a photographic session. The street performance was enjoyed by all and was another highlight of the festival. Choirs also performed at the Christmas Craft Fair in St. Michael's Hall to the delight of the Christmas shoppers and stall holders.

Saturday evening's venue was the Foy Centre and with entertainment by Cór Chairlinne na nÓg, Cór Chairlinne, Deansrath Gospel Choir, Clermont Chorale and Le Choeur d'Aumetz. This was the first onstage performance of Cór Chairlinne na nÓg and their soloists and harmonies were a joy to behold. Everybody agreed that the X Factor wouldn't compete with what was on offer in The Foy Centre! Clermont Chorale gave an excellent polished performance of a wonderfully varied programme, under the accomplished baton of musical director Irene Barr, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

After an early night it was off to St. Michael's Church, Carlingford, and St. James' Grange for 11.30 a.m. Mass on Sunday morning. Mass goers enjoyed listening to the lovely sounds of visiting choirs which really added to the liturgy.

It was back to the sailing club for 3 p.m. where the choirs sang in front of a large attendance. Bringing the festival to a close the choirs congregated in Tholsel Street for the turning on of the Christmas lights. Both Carlingford choirs and Le Choeur d'Aumetz sang a beautiful mix of songs and closed the festival with a final rendition of the Italian folk song, 'Signore delle Cime'. The atmosphere was lovely and relaxed and very family orientated.

Deansrath Gospel Choir from Clondalkin in Dublin was our resident choir again this year and hopefully this will continue into the future. They were a credit to their school and community and we must thank their musical director Eimear Carroll and their teachers for their support in making the fourth Carlingford Choral Festival such a success.

This was a first visit to Ireland for Le Choeur d'Aumetz and they were delighted with the warm welcome they received, entranced by the scenery and good weather and thoroughly enjoyed the festive atmosphere on the streets of Carlingford. Many friendships were formed and we hope to see each other again. It was a very special experience for everyone involved.

Donations made during the festival were donated to St. Vincent De Paul, the North Louth Hospice and the Alzheimer's Society.

The Argus

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