Sweet sound of success
The music of the Arklow Festival was once again one of sweet sounding success this year.
This is the thirty-seventh year of Arklow Music Festival and it popular appeal, especially with competitors, remains not just undimmed but in fact the festival continues to grow from strength to strength.
Back in 1970, when it first started, Arklow Music Festival was just a weekend event but now the organising committee are pressed to cram all the competitions into ten days, using five venues.
Normally organising a festival of such magnitude, embracing over 6,000 people when the members of choirs, choral groups and drama groups are included, would tax the capabilities of any committee.
But Arklow Festival Executive, under director John Bonner, seem to take everything in their stride and the festival from the tea-room to the stewarding, to the running of the competitions themselves tick-over like clock-work without an apparent hiccup or glitch.
Every year the festival's programme, from the colourful actions songs and choral verse speaking and the solo from light opera or musical to the all embracing prizewinners concert for a finale, seem to 'haste away too soon', leaving us longing for the next year to come around quickly.
The composers competition, sponsored by the Irish Music Rights Organisation, has turned Arklow Music Festival into an international event and two of the entries here were from the Ukraine.
The winner was Dr. Peter Seabourne from Britain and his winning composition entitled 'Soaring' was endorsed by the audience with sustained applause when it was performed at the prizewinners concert on Sunday night.
It was a very successful festival for the Clancy School of Music and Drama who picked up several awards at the festival, both for drama and for action songs, and they also lifted the John Hurley Memorial Award.
In the drama section, the Liam O'Loughlin Cup for best use of make up was won by St. Patrick's NS., Bearna Chle, Arklow, with its production entitled 'Cloud Land'
Awarded for the best group in Choral Verse Speaking, the William Doyle Memorial Cup was won by sixth class St. Michael's Girls School, Arklow.