Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all Cavan Singers, especially those singing Auld Lang Syne at the Masquerade Ball in the Town Hall tonight.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Our three finals sings before Christmas 2015

We had three finals sings before Christmas 2015...

Cavan General Hospital Oncology Unit Carol Service was held in the Kilmore Hotel at 11am on Saturday morning. It is a bittersweet service always, prepared and attended by the staff of the unit, along with families of patients, and the "Friends" of the unit. We love to sing this service, and we love the candles we are offered to take home to light at Christmas.

We sang on the Town Square in Cavan from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday afternoon. We sang a mixture of sacred and "silly" seasonal songs, and the passers-by seemed to enjoy it because they filled our buckets, and we will be handing over a generous amount to our two charities, SOSAD and Good Morning Positive Age.

We finished our Christmas season as the guests of the Cavan Baptist community. We sang with the congregation, and we also for them sang The Old Man, our "coming home for Christmas" song, written for us by former MD, Paul Flynn. It was lovely to sing it right underneath Slieve Glagh, the landmark it mentions. Our thanks to Rev Ivan Watson, and Carol Watson (alto), for the invitation, and the hospitality, offered to us once again.

Big big thanks, this season as ever, go to our hardworking volunteer "Road Crew", led by Gerry O'Keeffe and Colm Crowe. Without this team, the rest of us divas and divos would be sunk!

Here's to another wonderful year singing together - and what a year 2016 promises to be!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

A beautiful evening in a packed Cathedral

Tonight we sang for a large congregation in Cavan Cathedral - and we certainly sang as past in one of the biggest "casts" we have taken part in. (Memories of Voices of the World in Roma fadó fadó, anyone?). The programme was a great mix of traditional and new, which the people present really loved. All choirs sang individually and together. Our soprano Martina Lee Boyle led the singing of Once in Royal David's City as well as sharing the lead in Oh Holy Night with Carmel O'Donoghue (Song Sister and Cathedral Choir soprano).

Here is the main programme:

As well as those hymns listed there, we sang the Sussex Carol and the Hallelujah Chorus with the Cathedral Choir, and the final hymns sung by all 7 choirs, and the congregation was O Come All Ye Faithful / Adeste Fideles.

Special mention must go the the bravura piece, Christmas Rhapsody no 3, from St Patrick's College Ensemble led by our own former Musical Director, Ciaran Tackney. The combination of chorus and musicians was spinetingling. We need to see this Ensemble perform again in Cavan soon.

We had our own special "Green Room" behind the altar, where we waited while we were not performing. Thanks to Hugh Tunney (bass) and Garret Maguire for our own special TV monitor which meant we could see the service, which was wonderful.

This is the second of our Christmas performances. Three more to go before Sunday. No doubt about it - 'tis the season to be singing!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

A Miracle in Town

It was lovely for us to attend the Nativity Play and sing in the Carol Service in Cavan Parish Church this evening. Well done to the Shepherds, Innkeepers, Narrators, Singers, Musicians, Camels, Sheep, Angels, Kings, and Cowboys (yep!) of the Cavan No.1 School student cast, and to their teachers.
With our MD Eileen Tackney conductiong, and Sue King as accompanist, we sang with congregation their seasonal hymns - Once in Royal David's City (solo Brian McKeever, Bass), Joy to the World, Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful and Hark the Herald Angel Sing. We also sang one of our current carols, As The Bells Ring by Bob Chilcott, and the ever anticipated O Holy Night, with solos verses from to of our sopranos, Martina Lee Boyle and Paukine Brady.
Thank again to the Church committee who provide us with much appreciated refreshments in the school hall after the service.
We have taken part in this annual service every years since our foundation in 1984, and it marks the real start of Christmas for many of us.

Friday, 4 December 2015

RTÉ lyric fm Choirs for Christmas 2015

Once again we have entered the Lyric FM Choirs for Christmas competition. This year we recorded The Old Man, a new piece by our own Paul William Flynn. Thanks to Sue King and the students from Cavan Institute for the engineering, and to Fr Kevin Donohue ADM for allowing us to use St Clare's Chapel.
Keyboard is Sue King, Violin is Amy Kelly, Soprano solo is Martin Lee Boyle. Conductor is our MD Eileen Tackney. Listen out for us on the "wireless" between now and Christmas.
Have a listen here.

Taking the family photograph

It is always good fun when it is time for us to have a formal group picture taken. We have to remember to come to rehearsal in our "uniform", and we have to get sorted. Stage Manager Frances Galligan has been volunteered for this role each time. Think family pic, but with almost 70 kids in the frame!
Anyway, in the absence of the ever patient Lorraine Teevan this time, we managed it, and here we are...
Thanks to the very helpful Kevin from the Kilmore for helping us out.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Ship of Fools at Hallowe'en '15

Could it really have taken 8 hours to sing one verse of Danny Boy? Yes, if you sing it low and slow, in canon and in ostenato, spending the evening in a cellar as a zombie creeper...

We were asked to take past in the Hallowe'en weekend opening of the repurposed Town Hall in Cavan. We worked with Robbie Blake, choral director of Tonnta Music. We rehearsed in the Kilmore, and at the "secret location", exploring how we cold get an ethereal effect with which to spook and delight our audiences on the night. Robbie helped us to evolve Danny Boy into Splinter Boy, and gave us confidence to sing a short series of notes in canon to great effect, blending with Robbie Perry's samba drummers to create a really macabre finale to the performance - outdoors in the dark of the courtyard, lit by candles.

The location turned out to be the transformed empty See House at Kilmore. The show was called the Ship of Fools, and ran four times over the evening. Our audience arrived by coach, and were treated to over 20 non-stop mini-shows as they were led through the house. This show was the flagship of the 4 day Festival of the Dead concieved by the Gonzo Theatre and trans art.

All that can be said is - you had to be there, and we can't wait to see the professional video. In the meantime, thanks to Ciaran Murray for posting a video of the basement singing here.

Some of the singers also took part in the dance sequences in the reception rooms, and the musical drama on the first floor.

All in all, we were delighted to have been part of this unique happening. Have a look....

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Field trip to Albert Hammond concert in Castlebar

Thanks to Treasurer Liz Murray (alto) for organising a trip to the Albert Hammond concert in Castlebar on October 10th. 22 fans travelled, and we stayed over in Breaffy House. After a lovely dinner together in the hotel, we were carefully counted on to the bus to town, and took our front row seats in the Traveller's Friend theatre.
The concert was superb, all hits were sung by Albert in fine voice, accompanied by a terrific band, for well over two hours. There was much stage door swooning when Albert came to sign albums and have pictures taken after the concert.
Imagine our delight, back in the bar in Breaffy, to be joined by the very genial band members (all Scots, all gents) and also the bauld Albert himself. The singing was good, and the craic was too. If you look carefully, you'll spot himself in here between Claire Finlay (soprano) and Nora Kennedy (soprano).

We were all grateful for the relaxed late breakfast next morning, and in need of a swim or a walk in the woods.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


We are hosting a Big Sing at our open rehearsal next Tuesday, as are many other AOIC choirs around the country. All who love to sing are welcome to join us for a song and a cuppa. This is to celebrate Mental Health week and Choral Singing Week. Many thanks to Cavan County Council Community Office for supporting us in this venture.

AGM Sept 29th

We had our AGM after the rehearsal on Sept 29th. Rachael, our departing chair, thanked everyone who had contributed to making 2014/2015 one of our best years yet. We had our various officers' reports, and discussed ongoing affairs, as ever at AGMs!
We elected a new Committee for the 2015/2016 as follows:

Chair - Carmel Gaffney
Vice Chair - Frances Galligan
Former Chair (ex officio) - Rachael Cullivan Elliott
Secretary - Mags Amond
Treasurer - Liz Murray
Assistant Treasurer - Áine Sullivan
PRO - Nora Kennedy
Librarian (hard copy) - Martina Lee Boyle
Librarian (soft copy) - Peter Howard

Thanks to the outgoing committee for their trojan work on behalf of the Singers, and best wishes to the incoming team.

Getting started on the 2015-2016 season

We began our 2015-2016 saying a fond farewell and thanks to Paul Flynn, and Céad Míle Fáilte to our new Musical Director, Eileen Tackney. Eileen has been working with us for years as accompanist, arranger and teacher, so it didn't take long to get to get to work on our season's work. We are working side by side on our Christmas music (including a beautiful piece written by "our" Paul) and our new pieces which are taken from musical movies.

Friday, 21 August 2015

US Civil War Commemoration in Cavan

We sang at the US Civil War exhibition at the Johnston Memorial Library, Cavan on 5th August 2015. Acompanied by Eileen Tackney on keyboard, We sang many songs evoking the era - Wake Nicodemus, We are Coming Father Abraham, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Just Before the Battle Mother, Dixie and The Battle Cry of Freedom. Soloists were Brian McKeeven (bass) and MArtina Lee Boyle (soprano). Musical Director Paul joined the Aedine Browne (alto), Mary Sullivan (soprano) and Martine Lee Botle (soprano) for a haunting rendition of Shenandoah, joined ny guest violinist Amy Kelly.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Dunmore Choral Festival

On Saturday the 16th we made a return visit to Dunmmore, Co Galway to partake in their Choral Festival - report to follow!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Gloria - Recital in Cavan Cathedral

Many thanks to audience over over 300 who joined us for the Recital in the Cathedral on Thursday night. We were delighted to be joined by our Minister for the Arts, Heather Humhreys.

Recital Programme

Cavan Singers
Locus Iste - Anton Bruckner
Cantique de Jean Racine - Gabriel Fauré
Ave Verum Corpus - Wolfgang Mozart

Duet: Martina Lee Boyle (Sporano) & Brian McKeever (Bass)
Panis Angelicus - César Franck

Cavan Singers with student choirs of The Royal School, Breifne College, Loreto College, and St Patrick's College
I heard the Voice of Jesus - Trad, arr. Vaughan Williams
Stand By Me - Tom Kendzia

Solo: Niamh McCormack
I am the Good Shepherd - Paul Flynn

Cavan Singers, Niamh McCormack (Sporano), Niamh O'Hanlon (Contralto)
Gloria - Antonio Vivaldi
i. Gloria in exclesis Deo
ii. Et in terra pax
iii. Laudamus te
iv. Gratia agimus tibi
v. Propter magnam gloriam
vi. Domine Deus
vii. Domine, Fili unigente
viii. Domine Deus, Agnus Dei
ix. Qui tollis pecata mundi
x. Qui sedes ad dexterum Patris
xi. Quoniam tu solus sanctus
xii. Cum Sancto Spiritu

Read the full programme

"Thanks You"s
Well done to all singers, as well as our MD Paul William Flynn, our organist Eileen Tackney, all the soloists - our own Singers Brian (Bass) and Martina (Soprano) as well as the two Niamhs who joined us for the evening - and the student choirs from The Royal School, Breifne, St Pat's, and Loreto Colleges.
The sincere gratitude of the organising committee goes to the following folk for their invaluable assistance:
Fr Kevin Donohue, ADM Cavan Parish, for permission to use the venue and the church organ.
Ciaran Tackney, Janet Traynor, Carmel Fay, and Laura Kavanagh, who prepared the four school choirs.
School Principals Angela McGarvey, John Crotty, Edward Linsday, and Christopher Rowley for facilitating the participation of their students.
Cavan Arts Officer Catriona O'Reilly for continued support.
Alan McMahon and Mark O'Hanlon for sorting the stage.
Mark O'Janlon, Seamus Kennedy, Colman Smith, and Raymond Boyle for "manning" the "Box Office".
Nollaig Amond Murray for assisting Eileen with the sheet music.
Stewart Elliott and Christopher Elliott for distributing the programmes.
Ciaran Murray for videotaping and photography, and Carmel Fay for recording....To see the video, follow this link

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Annual Memorial Service and Social Evening

On Friday night we had our Annual Memorial Service for deceased members and friends of the choir. We have had this event on our calendar for several years now, an evening when we take a look back with thanksgiving on times past, then have supper and song together and make plans for the future.
Paul had prepared us to sing Evening Service, which was conducted by Fr Kevin Donohoe (Bass -your place is being kept!) and Rev Mark Lidwill. We sang Locus Iste, Stand by Me (Tom Kendzia version), Psalm 26, The Magnificat, Cantique de Jean Racine and Abide with Me.

We gathered in the Farnham after wards for a meal with our friends and guests. This was followed by "singsong" led by Dessie Ronan, who lent both his musical talent and wit to the evening. We of course had the raffle with a prize for almost everyone in the audience. We had solos, duets, and choruses - no one needed a second prompt.
Mags Amond (Tenor) and Mary Haren (Alto) did a reprise of their "30 years Alphanumeric Ditty", with added extra verses. Predicton - future singing of certain verses in the Gloria will take great discipline for us to keep straight faces when when pondering Vivaldi in all his regalia..

Saturday, 31 January 2015 video of Cathedral Carol Service on Vimeo

Those who take part in services seldom get to see or hear what the audience experiences. Thanks to Drumlin Media then for this video on Vimeo, you can experience the Christmas Service from the Cathedral on DEc 8th.

An Evening of Christmas Carols and Seasonal Music in Cavan 2014 from on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Age Friendly Ireland national award ceremony

We were invited to sing at the Age Friendly Awards in Cavan Crystal Hotel on Tuesday January 20th. We sang Cantar, Cavan Girl, Kerry Dances, Viva La Vida and Danny Boy, and the audience seemed to enjoy the performance, and many of the joined in when invited by Paul to do so!
Here we are in two "up close and personal" pictures taken by Lorraine Teevan, thanks Lorraine, and thanks Nathan from Age Friendly Ireland for sending us the pictures.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

"It's the most wonderful time of the year"

As the seasonal song says, "It's the most wonderful time of the year", and "the hap-hap-iest season of all". We certainly had a busy but happy and wonderful finish to our BIG year of 2014. We sang at Carol Services with the congregations of Cavan Church of Ireland, Cavan Cathedral, Cavan Baptist Church and the friends of the Oncology Unit of Cavan General Hospital. We sang on the street for charity, and we finished the year in the Hotel Kilmore as guests (and as audience) on a Joe Finnegan radio show "stuffed" with amazing local talent including Cavan Singers featuring Martina Lee Boyle, Song Sisters, Brendan McCahey, Noel Monaghan, Padraig McIntyre and The Strypes. Our thanks to Northern Sound producer Kevina Pilkington for inviting us, and to Joe Finnegan for his entertaining presentation - it is always a treat to watch professionals at work!
It was a very joyous occasion with which to end a special year, and puts us in a very positive frame of mind for 2015...
Below are some reminders of the season, and don't forget to visit our FaceBook to see other pictures and reports.

Don't worry about your voice Joe, our Gerry's on standby...
Joe oversees the sound checks and rehearsal before the show...
Paul wears his seasonal best...
Our Eileen and her sublime Song Sisters...
Rachael tells Joe the story of our 30 years-a-singing...
...and when we were not singing, we were The Audience!
It was a treat to see out local heroes graciously signing autographs for their young fans...
The Strypes finished the show, playing as a trio - with a great rendition of Nick Lowe's "Peace, Love & Understanding"