Eamon Duffy a winner as choirs unite in fine voice
The Aber Valley Male Voice Choir have certainly come to know Drogheda and its historic precincts very well on their recent visit.
They have also endeared themselves to those who were in the TLT for their concert with the Drogheda Male Voice Choir as well as a cosmopolitan audience out in Bru Na Boinne Interpretative Centre with their fantastic singing. Last Friday night's concert will be recorded as another true choral spectacular experience and certainly lived up to its billing as "The Irish & Welsh On Song".
Musical Directors, David Leddy, Geraint Evans and Jackie Walsh certainly picked out some choral classics for their respective choirs which had a great spread of musical genre to suit all tastes.
The geniality personalities of these Musical Directors was also evident during the evening particularly with Welshman, Geraint Evans, sharing lovely humorous introductions to his choir and their repertoire along with little anecdotes which endeared him to the audience throughout their performance.
The superb choral evening's experience had the odd soloist incursion with fabulous local Drogheda soprano, Amie Dyer, simply magnificent. Leo Morgan was making his big stage solo debut with the wonderful "I'se Weary of Waiting" augmented by the Drogheda Male Voice Choir. Hannah O'Brien showed her fine individual soprano voice in taking the solo part in another enchanting and poignant performance by the wonderful Lourdes Youth Choir under Musical Director, Jackie Walsh.
In true choral spectacular fashion the concert opened with over 100 voices on the stage bringing the fabulous opening Vangelis "Conquest of Paradise" to a crescendo finish under the direction of Musical Director, David Leddy. From there on it just got better with some excellent choral arrangements keeping the large audience entertained for the next two and a half hours.
The man who kept matters moving along during the concert was none other than Eamon Duffy, who showed that he has lost none of the verve and enthusiasm he has always shown for the town of Drogheda. He introduced proceedings in his own inimitable style and very poignantly acknowledged the demise of Joey Maher last week to which the Drogheda Male Voice Choir dedicated one of their songs "The Peacemaker" to his memory. There was also mention made of three of their members who passed away within the last year, Tom Harmon, Patsy McCole and Joachim Bird.
The Aber Valley Male Voice Choir took to the the stage following the excellent Lourdes Youth Choir for the second half of the concert before, once again, all the voices merged on stage to finish with "You'll Never Walk Alone" which was the concerts encore to several curtain calls.
I forgot to mention in my report of Friday night, the wonderful gesture made by compere Eamon Duffy.
The Drogheda Male Voice Choir held a 250 members draw to raise funds for their trip to the Royal Albert Hall in October and the winners were drawn by Edward Hurley of Arrow Tours who very kindly sponsored the main prize of an all-expenses paid trip for two to London for the 'Festival of Choirs' event.
Eamon Duffy was announcing the winners on receipt of the drawn ticket from the tombola by Edward Hurley after Friday's show and was stuck for words when the winner was announced - himself and Alma.
But in true fashion, Eamon revealed that they had already made their plans to go to concert and asked Edward to draw another ticket, to tremendous applause.
The winners were; 1st Prize, Ronnie Owens from Slane, Four Day All Expenses Trip To London and Tickets to Royal Albert Hall. 2nd Prize, Olwyn Brannigan Curran, 32' Plasma TV From Briscoe Electrix and 3rd Prize, John Moonan, Weekend for two in the Boyne Valley Hotel & Country Club.