Friday, 10 November 2017

Voices of Limerick

Originally set up as a ter-centenary choir for the 300th Anniversary of the signing of the 1691 Siege of Limerick, the choir later evolved into Voices of Limerick in 1992.

In the early years Barra O’Tuama invited Voices of Limerick to join in his Opera Gala Concerts to sing many of the great Grand Opera Choruses, this provided the choir with the opportunity to perform with some of the finest singers ever to visit our shores including José Cura, Paolo Gavanelli and Sergei Leiferkus and also with some of Ireland’s leading singers including Cara O’Sullivan, Virginia Kerr, Orla Boylan, Mairéad Buicke, Frank Patterson and Suzanne Murphy. The choir has also performed with both the RTE Symphony and Concert Orchestras.

Voices of Limerick are invited to perform at many events including Limerick Sings International Choral Festival and also perform their own gala concert every two years.  In 2014 the choir was delighted to receive funding from the City of Culture which enabled them to perform the very successful Classics for Culture, an evening of choral music, solo songs and arias.  The accompanist was our good friend and honorary life member, Phillip Thomas.

Voices of Limerick enjoys singing many of the great choral arrangements and has also performed works that have been arranged specially for the choir itself.  In their 2014  Classics for Culture concert the choir premiered an arrangement by Colman Pearce and  dedicated to Voices of Limerick, of that lovely ballad ‘Where the Shannon River meets the Sea’, in recognition of Limerick’s year as National City of Culture.

Voices of Limerick are celebrating their Silver Anniversary with a Gala Concert in UCH on Saturday 11th November. Joining us on this occasion are the fabulous soprano Sinead Campbell Wallace and tenor Stephen Aviss.

Musical Director since the beginning is Colette Davis, whose extraordinary dedication & musical knowledge are a constant inspiration to the members will conduct, while
Internationally acclaimed pianist, vocal coach and conductor Phillip Thomas is accompanist for the evening.

The programme for the concert is a mix of some of our older, favourite repertoire as well as new pieces that we have done this year. These include Edgar’s Requiem Aeternam, Bell Chorus from I Pagliacci and Nessun dorma.

We are delighted that so many of our founding members are still with us and will be on stage with us on Saturday.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Teach na nAmhrán: The Song House

Teach na nAmhrán: The Song House
A stunning retreat centre for choirs and other creative groups, in falcarragh, Donegal

Can you imagine bringing your choir here, for some creative time away together?
Situated within the heart of the traditional Gaeltacht area of Donegal, Teach na nAmhrán is a perfect residential place for groups of musicians and singers to come away on creative retreat, and to connect with the vibrant traditional music scene of Ireland.
Over the past year, Candy Verney, a choir director herself, has renovated the house for her singing work: Singing on the Wild Side singing holidays, Community Choir Leader Trainings, and workshops. It is also available for hire to other creative groups as well as family holidays.
Originally named The Poets’ House, it was a centre of literary activity for over 20 years with regular visitors including Seamus Heaney.
The Song House has a beautiful sunny workshop space accommodating 35 people, with a fine singing acoustic. It can sleep 12-14, all rooms looking out onto the iconic Muckish Mountain, and there is also a B&B next door, accommodating another 6. We have had groups of up to 32 staying for the weekend, using extra local accommodation.
Lying on the Wild Atlantic Way, the drama and beauty of the local landscape takes your breath away- spectacular 3 mile sandy dune beaches, wide expanses of blue or stormy skies, the iconic Muckish mountain (the hogs back), Tory island surrounded by a skirt of turquoise sea glinting in the evening light. Historical sites, Glenveagh National Park, archaeology, the area has it all.
The local music scene is fantastic- music sessions go on most nights in local pubs, as well as music events connecting to the Gaeltacht, the Irish speaking area of Donegal. In June/July there are no less than 4 festivals going on in the area, including the Earagail Arts Festival which hosts international artists and musicians. You can still hear singers singing in the old style of ‘sean-nos’.
There are some beautiful places nearby to take a group to sing: check out my former choir Sounding It Out singing in the ruined Ray church. Our coach driver was in tears.
You can see why this landscape inspired Enya, who came from close by, and I can imagine being inspired to record an album here.

If you like the idea, but need a helping hand to work out the logistics, I can facilitate your trip so that you have the kind of trip that will stay in your soul forever.  I see it as part of my job to introduce you to local musicians, artists and contacts, as well as give you ideas of where to go for hikes, swims, ancient and historical visits.
More photos and information are available on our new website:

Contact me and we can make a time to chat further.

Candy Verney
Singing towards Change

I have also published a group of inspiring songs for choirs- Songs from Life.