Sunday, 7 December 2014

Advent in Prague

Thanks to Mary Haren (alto) for this roving reporter's report from Praha!
On Thursday 27th November members of the Cavan Singers and their supporters flew to Prague to take part in the Prague Advent Choral Meeting. Choirs from Brazil, Russia, Norway, Belgium, Israel, Hungary, France and Czech Republic sang at the meeting over two days. Each choir performed for thirty minutes on Friday and Saturday. The Cavan Singers sang "Cavan Girl", " Viva La Vida", "Cantar", "The Kerry Dances", "Danny Boy", "Thank You For The Music", "Advent Candle", "O Holy Night", "Don Oiche Ud In mBeithil" and "In the Bleak Midwinter".
Our musical director for the trip was Eileen Tackney and we were accompanied on the piano by Sue King. The success of our performances was due to the amazing talent of these two wonderful musicians. Our soloist for "O Holy Night", Pauline Brady, sang so beautifully that we received a standing ovation on both days. Our performance was very well received by all the other choirs and audience.
Our weekend included a walking tour of Prague, a night time cruise on the river, and a wonderful meal with other choirs where we had a sing song that went on late into the night. The Cavan Singers know how to enjoy themselves!
Prague is a beautiful city and our trip was made even more interesting by the Christmas markets which started on Saturday. The standard of singing and musicianship was very high and the Cavan Singers are proud to have been involved in such a wonderful occasion. I would like to give a special thanks to Liz Murray, Nora Kennedy and Rachael Cullivan-Elliot of the committee who put so much work into organising the event. The members of the Cavan Singers are wonderful people who love to sing, make friends, laugh, travel and enjoy life, and it is a pleasure to be part of it.

Monday, 1 December 2014

First Anninversary - Winnie Hughes - An Appreciation

Winnie Hughes was the 6th Musical Director of the Cavan Singers, appointed in 2005. She was no stranger to us however, as we had often performed with both her Loreto College Cavan School Choir and Chamber Choir in concerts and carol services in the previous decade. She also conducted us when we performed with Cavan Cathedral Choir, St Patricks’s College Choir and Cavan Sinfonia.
Winnie was equally at home conducting massed choirs singing sacred works, professional soloists, or smaller groups singing contemporary and popular classics. Variety was certainly the spice of our life with Winnie – we never knew what surprise the Tuesday night rehearsal might bring - she taught us songs without words, she introduced Barbershop singing, she even gave us kazoos!
Winnie was the classic “larger than life” MD – she loved music, travel, history, wine and good company, and was never happier than when all of them were combined. She looked forward to planning the next trip, be it with the choir, her close friends, or her family. She took the choir on adventures as far and wide as Barcelona and the Flat Lake Festival in Monaghan!
When illness struck, Winnie appointed our accompanist Sue King as interim MD, a role Sue assumed with supreme grace. Winnie resumed her singing with the Longford County Choir, and wrapped herself in her family and friends. She died on December 1st 2013.
Cavan Singers were invited by her husband Kevin and sons Gareth and Harry to join the Longford County Choir colleagues to sing her funeral Mass with her friend Fintan Farrelly. For Winnie we sang, from The Armed Man, a final Benedictus. Ní beidh a leithéid ann arís.
Mags Amond, PRO

Monday, 24 November 2014

Don Oíche Úd I mBeithil...

This Christmas Carol season we have a new piece to sing for you, arranged by our Musical Director Paul Flynn, with translation into Irish by local poet Noel Monahan. We are especially delighted with this, as Noel is a founder tenor with the choir.

Don Oíche Úd I mBeithil

Don oíche úd i mBeithil
beidh tagairt faoi ghrian go brách
Don oíche úd i mBeithil,
go dtáinig an Briathar slán;
Tá gríos-ghrua ar speartha
‘san talamh ‘na chlúdach ban;
Féach Íosagán sa cliabhán
‘San Mhaighdean in aoibhneas grá.
Ar leaca loma sléibhe
‘sé ghlacann ne h-aoirí scáth
Ar oscailt gheal ne spéire
ta teach-taire Dé ar fáil
Céad glóir’ anois don Aithair
i bhfaitheasaibh thuas go hard
Is feasta fós ar talamh
do fhearaibh dea mhéin síocháin.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Our Christmas Diary

Our 2014 Christmas Diary Dates...
Friday November 7th @ 8.30; Golf Club Memorial Service in memory of deceased members.
Choir trip to sing in Prague Choral Festival: November 27th-30th - details to follow.
Wednesday December 10th - Cathedral of SS Patrick & Phelim, Carol Service with Cavan Cathedral Choir
Sunday December 14th - Church of Ireland Carol Service with Cavan No.1 school
Saturday December 20th @ 11.00 a.m.: Carol Service with Friends of Cavan General Oncology Unit in Hotel Kilmore
Saturday Dec. 20th @ 2pm-4pm - Carol Singing for Charity in Cavan town
Sunday Dec. 21st - Carol Service Baptist Church

Friday, 26 September 2014

"2 for 1" Celebration - a Civic Reception and a Library Exhibition

We are currently up to fever pitch preparing for a very special evening in October. Two celebrations in one, so to speak.

Civic Reception
Cavan County Council is holding a Civic Reception in our honour, to mark our 30 years singing in the community. We are very proud to accept this invitation, and will perform in the Council Chamber in the Courthouse to mark the occasion. We will sing Cantar and Cavan Girl, directed (in his maiden flight with us!) by Paul Flynn and accompanied by Eileen Tackney.

Library Exhibition
The Johnston Central Library hosting an exhibition to celebrate the first 30 years of Cavan Singers.
We are preparing and exhibition of photographs, programs, recordings, musical scores and artefacts to celebrate our 30th Birthday - see a selection below. The exhibition is to be opened on Thursday October 2nd by our Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Heather Humpheys. We will sing some popular numbers - Viva La Vida and Java Jive - once again with Paul and Eileen Tackney. We look forward to meeting our Musical Directors of the past, and especially to a reunion of some of our founder members.
The Committee is grateful for all the help and support it has received to help our preparations to date - Adult Education Office CMETB, Library and Arts Office staff, Cavan County Council Executive Office Staff, Cavan County Museum, Loreto College Cavan, Abbeyset, Mel’s Signs, Blacks Printers, Lorraine Teevan Photography, Anglo Celt, Joe Keenan, Elena Brennan Design, Dollé Cullivan, and Dermot McMonagle.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

New Season, New Director

Here our Chair Rachael Cullivan Elliot is are sadly saying "Thank You for the Music", on behalf of us all, to our retiring Musical Director Sue King, at our summer party in the Hotel Kilmore in May.

Now we extend a warm Céad Míle Fáilte to our new Musical Director Paul Flynn, who has sung with us in the past (Bass and Barbershop). Here is his current CV!!
Paul Flynn is from Lucan, Co. Dublin. In 2000, he graduated with a BA in music from Trinity College Dublin, specialising in composition with Kevin O’Connell and Donnacha Dennehy. In 2009 he was awarded an M. Litt. in musicology from the same college. He is also a fully qualified post-primary teacher and has also completed postgraduate studies in Theology.
He has extensive experience of the choral genre not only through composition but also through conducting and singing with many choirs including the Mornington Singers, Trinity College Dublin Chapel Choir and St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, Dublin. In 2006, he won the Christ Church Cathedral Festival Composition Competition. He received the International Composer Honourable Mention in the 2009 POLYPHONOS competition with The Esoterics choir, Seattle, USA. In 2013, Paul was awarded first place in the Corpus Christi Chorale Composition Competition in Texas with his setting of Sub Tuum Praesiduium. He has had works performed in many venues both in Ireland, Austria, USA, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, including recent performances by the men of St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Recently, his work Hymnus Sancti Camelaci was selected to represent Ireland at the 2014 ISCM World Music Days Festival in Poland.
He currently directs the Choir of the RC Parish of St. Michael’s, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. He acts as a music advisor, liturgical music consultant and has directed many music events and concerts. He is represented by the Contemporary Music Centre ( and is an active member of the AIC (Association of Irish Composers:

Thursday, 15 May 2014

A String of Musical Pearls - that's us at 30 years

We named our 30th Birthday Concert "a string of musical pearls" in a moment of whimsey - but it turned out we were right. Sue chose a great program for us (see below), and we had a lovely audeince who seemed to appreciate it as much as we enjoyed singing it with Cavan Sinfonia.
From warm up to wrap up the evning was great - and how lovely it was to see former Directors (including the original!) Martin Cahill and Ciaran Tackney, and the choir's first Secretary Jeannette Gibbs in the audience along with former officers Eithne McKay, Noel Monahan and many more familiar faces.
Full report and photographs of the concert proper will follow - meantime here we are warming up (and checking our pearlies!).

Cavan Singers 30th Birthday Concert Programme

Conductor – Sue King

Accompanist – Eileen Tackney

Act One

Gloria – Vivaldi, arr. Hermann

Locus Iste – Bruckner

Cantique de Jean Racine – Fauré & Racine, arr. Rutter

Where’er You Walk – Handel

The Prayer / Lead us Lord - Bayer Sager & Foster, arr. Fettke

Les Miserables – Schonberg, Boublil, Natel & Kretzmer, arr. Lojeski

La Ci Daren La Mano - Mozart (Duet: Martina Lee Boyle & Brian McKeever)

Barcarolle - Offenbach (Duet: Martina Lee Boyle & Brian McKeever)

76 Trombones – Willson, arr. Stickles

Battle Hymn of the Republic - Ward Howe & Steffe, arr. Wilhousky

Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah - Handl


Act 2 - Accompanied by Cavan Sinfonia

Lascia – Handel, arr. Calmelet

Benedictus - Jenkins (Cello solo: Lynsey O’Neill)

Adiemus – Jenkins, arr. Hare

Ashoken Farewell - Unger (Instrumental: Cavan Sinfonia)

Danny Boy – Weatherly, arr. Flummerfelt

Isle of Hope – Graham, arr. Leavitt

Cavan Girl – Moore, arr. Tackney (French Horn solo: Evin O’Meara)

Cantar - Althouse

Viva la Vida - Berryman, Buckland, Champion & Martin, arr. Brymer

Bohemian Rhapsody – Mercury, arr. Brymer (Solist: Cian Conde)

Java Jive - Oakland & Drake, arr. Shaw (Soloist: Dermot McMonagle)

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

"One Sleep More" until our Birthday concert....

Tomorrow night we will be performing our 30th Birthday Concert "A String of Musical Pearls", at the Hotel Kilmore at 8pm. We have a terrific programme planned, featuring our soloists Brian McKeever, Martina Lee Boyle and Dermot McMonagle as well as Cavan Sinfonia. Eileen Tackney will accompany us, and Directing us all will be Sue King.
The programme features songs we have been singing for 30 years (Java Jive, Cantique de Jean Racine), songs brand new to our repertoire (Adiemus, Benedictus from Jenkins's Mass The Armed Man), and everything in between. We will have songs for audience participation - don't foget your Messiah score if you wish to join us in the Hallelujah Chorus!
There we are pictured neatly lined up at our dress rehearsal - well, most of us!! Well done to photographer Lorraine Teevan for getting us into order.
Back Row L to R: Claire Harrington, Malachy McDwyer, Dermot McMonagle, Tom Flynn, Kevin O’Connor, Jim O’Leary, Brian McKeever, Tony McMahon, Peter Howard, Gerry O’Keeffe, Padraic Corley, Colm Ceowe, Aedín Browne
3rd Row L to R: Eileen Tackney, Dara Hume, Ben Charles, Janice Robinson, Dollé Cullivan, Anne Marie King, Eva Fiebelkorn, Liz Foster, Finuala Duffy, Gay Fannon, Lucilla O’Hanlon, Pauline Brady, Fidelma Sheridan, Sheila Cooney, Carmel Lewis, Mary Haren
2nd Row L to R: Áine Sullivan, Sally McKenna, Martina Lee Boyle, Mary O’Connor, Rachael Cullivan-Elliot, Mary Sullivan, Ann Smith, Marie White, Claire Finlay, Nora Kennedy, Tina Farrelly, Angela Costello
Front Row L to R: Claire Crowe, Orla O’Sullivan, Phyllis McMonagle, Bríd Brady, Selena Barry, Sue King, Frances Galligan, Carol Watson, Nollaig Amond Murray, Mags Amond, Áine Duffy, Liz Murray.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Spinning plates with Alan Leech!

Last Tuesday evening we had a wonderful choral workshop with Alan from the AOIC. Alan is currently a full time tenor with The National Chamber Choir of Ireland. He is also a lecturer in Voice at the Leinster School of Music & Drama, and Mater Dei Teacher Training College Dublin.
He put us through our paces and stepped us through one of our favourite pieces, Gabriel Fauré's Cantique de Jean Racine. He gave us helpful exercises and pointers, all delivered with good humour. Thank you Alan, we promise to put it all to good use, and that we will all try to keep all of our plates spinning in the air!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Friends Remembered

We sang to remember departed friends on Saturday evening in St Clare's Chapel with Fr Kevin Donohoe. We were joined by families and friends of choir members (and some very tiny future members!). We supported each other in our sadness, and we celebrated our continued friendships and the joy we share in singing together. We sang our debut of the "Benedictus" from Karl Jenkins's "The Armed Man", which we had sung with the Longford Choir at Winnie's funeral Mass. Martina Lee Boyle (soprano) lead us in the psalm "Shepherd Us O Lord."
After the mass we had a meal in the Farnham Arms Hotel, and a post prandial 'singsong' with Dessie Ronan on piano, and Gerry O'Keeffe (tenor) on Spot Prizes, and a hilarious reprise by Mary Haren (alto) of her epic 1997 poem "Roman Holiday", complete with author's commentary!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Remembering departed friends

We are preparing at rehearsals for a lovely evening soon, in which we will remember our deceased members from Cavan Singers. We will have readings, prayers and hymns at a service with Fr Kevin Donohoe (Adm) in St Clare's Chapel at 7pm on Saturday March 8th. Then we will share supper and some music in The Farnham Arms Hotel in Cavan.

Here we are in one of the happy times we wish to celebrate - competing at the Sligo Choral festival with Winnie Hughes (former Director, RIP) and Josie Coyle (alto, RIP)...thanks to Rachael Elliot (alto) for the photograph.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Eileen and the Andrews Sisters in Killeshandra

Eileen Tackney, our accompanist, and her group the Song Sisters, are performing their current show "The Andrews Sisters at the Hollywood Canteen" in Killeshandra on February 8th. A show not to be missed!