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Song of the Provinces


On Wednesday (28th April) the choir I sing in, the Fleischmann Choir, opened the Cork International Choral Festival with the Cork School of Music Orchestra. Under the leadership of our conductor Dr. Geoff Spratt we performed Song of the Provinces, a piece written by Professor Aloys Fleischmann himself.

The wonderful thing about this musical work is that it requires audience participation. After the melody is taught, the audience must join in with the choir several times. It’s amazing how it came together on the night. Putting it together with the frankly EPIC orchestral accompaniment in rehearsals was one thing, but to hear the audience join in for the main melody was just unbelievable. It gave me shivers and I couldn’t keep the grin from my face.

I think Prof. Fleischmann was there in spirit, singing with us. He had admirable views on the importance of choirs in communities and it’s undeniable that the the sense of community in the City Hall on Wednesday was at its strongest while everyone sang together.

Below is the video of the performance. Watch Geoff conduct the audience, I love that!

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Draw her home with Music


This is literally the first moment I’ve had to sit down in about four weeks.

I sang in an opera concert on the 22nd November in a lovely converted church in north Cork. It was a really pleasant evening and the audience seemed to really enjoy it. I was even given a gorgeous bunch on yellow roses afterwards! It was great! The run up to it was quite stressful, though. There were a lot of duets and the pianist came over from the Netherlands to accompany us, so we had to fit in rehearsals in with him. He was wonderful though! It’s a great feeling to sing with an excellent accompanist!

Once the concert was over I started rehearsing properly for an Audition I have coming up in the Royal Academy of Music, London on the 7th December. It’s for musical theatre, not opera, though. HA! It’s something different, anyway. A challenge! So I’ve been studying three songs on my own and two monologues with a teacher. So far it’s been a really positive experience. I didn’t get too many opportunities to act during my time at college. Apparently I have natural comic timing! Who’d have thought it 😛

Apart from that, I’ve been taken on in a Gaelscoil in Cork, teaching music to second years for the year. (A gaelscoil is a school where Irish is spoken all the time. Everything is taught through Irish.) So for example, today I was explaining was syncopation is in Irish to a group of 14 year olds. I’ve only been there a week but I’m enjoying it already. All of the students play at least one instrument and the can all sing. They all play the tin whistle too! So I’ve arranged about six Christmas carols on the tin whistle for them and organized some Christmas songs for them to sing too. (HARMONY!!) Obviously the problem here would be that I don’t speak fluent Irish. But do you think i’d let that stop me? BAH!

I’ve also been singing in churches a lot recently. Two funerals this week. Funerals are so sad. And I’m still teaching beginner piano two evenings a week. I should also mention the Feischmann choir concert next Thursday for which I have been attenting rehearsals. We’ll be singing Vaughan Williams’ Serenade (absolutely stunning) as well as Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and Zadok the Priest and some other fun bits and pieces. We’re singing with the Cork Symphony Orchestra and Julian Lloyd Webber is playing ELGAR’S CELLO CONCERTO!!

So, you see, I haven’t forgotten about blogging about singing! I’ve just been too busy actually SINGING to blog! Above picture depicts my crazy busy head.

Listen to Williams’ Serenade.