Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Beethoven's 9th Gasteig, Munich

A top class concert which was the first of two performances of the classic. The Munich Philarmonic was packed to capacity with an audience of afficionados. The relatively new Gasteig is very reminiscent of the London's Barbican with a very contemporary building with superb acoustics.

Late night jazz in Vogler's Munich

One of the truly great venues.

A superb late night jazz evening with a top class bass and piano duo that performed to a rapt audience.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Soltice Serenade

On Tuesday 15th December the students of the Cathy Desmond Stringschool gave a concert to showcase their skills acquired over their first term of work at Willsgrove Ennis. The programme was as follows

Twinkle Twinkle Theme and Variations

Lightly Row

Clown Dance

Ode To Joy

Jingle Bells

The audience of family members were most impressed the progress made by the fledgeling ensemble . The ensemble members on the day were Grainne Kelly, Emily and Chloe Ryan, Naoise and Aoife MacMahon. The group were joined by Jessica Ryan on bells for the closing number. Cathy Desmond commended the students on their hard work . She said she was very proud of the strides the group had made and she thanked accompanist Alice Foley in her first professional engagement.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival

Last weekend saw the 15th annual Bluegrass festival in Dunmore East, Co Waterford. The event is the tradional end of season wrap in the beautiful coastal resort. The music is always terrific with bands from Europe, USA, Northern Ireland as well as local groups. The regular haunts of The Haven, The Candlelight, The Ship are always decked out well with a great mix of music and a chance to meet old friends.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Piano Bar - Oscar Wilde

Travelling back from Cherbourg on the Irish Ferries vessel The Oscar Wilde we were entertained by Stephen Lancefield.
Stephen plays in the Piano Bar each evening and is outstanding with a repertoire including Billy Joel, Tom Waits, etc, etc.

A real star!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Irish Church Music Association Summer School

The annual ICMA Summer School was once again held in Maynooth. I joined my good friends from The Ennis Cathedral Choir for a few days. The programme this year included workshops by Mary Amond O'Brien and Colin Mawby. It was dedicated to the memory of Fintan O'Carroll. Mr O'Carroll was my first and most influential music teacher.

San Sebastian Jazz Festival

Finally got to see San Sebastian. Not only is it one of Spain's best kept secrets & the gourmet capital of Nortern Spain but it hosts each July a great Jazz festival. This year's programme included Cuba's finest; the Buena Vista Social Club.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer School

Many thanks to all those involved in the inaugural - CDS Summer School.

The young participants of the CDS Summer Music School gave a special lunchtime performance at Danlann on Chlair to close the event . They delighted their capacity audience as they demonstrated their new skills acquired over the course of the week under directors Cathy Desmond and Edel O’ Halloran.

The aim of the week was to give participants an introduction to learning a musical instrument with all instruments provided.
All participants received special certificates for their attendance and progress and the special student award for the CDS summer school was awarded to Christine Gillespie for her impressive progress on cello over the week.

Particular thanks to all the daily guests at the Summer School

  • Daniel Foley of Ennis Brass Band gave a demonstration of brass band instruments and spoke about the busy schedule of engagements of the band during the year.

  • Lianne Bradley performed a selection on concert flute and piccolo. Tamires Roque demonstrated the rich range of the cello and joined resident tutor Alice Foley in a cello duet, all three ladies, students at Colaiste Muire.

  • Michelle Hennessy director of Clare Music Makers and of the Friary Choir gave a virtuoso performance on trumpet before giving all the participants a first lesson.
  • John Lynch leader of the Kilfenora Ceili Band just back from wowing festival goers in Glastonbury popped in to talk about the the previous weekend

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Listowel Writers' Week

I met former Dubliner John Sheehan at the festival. I have used his music in a couple of ensembles in the past and he gave me a brief tutorial.
Sharp eyed viewers will spot prize-winning novelist Louis De Berniere enjoying the impromptu session in the courtyard of The Listowel Arms Hotel