Altogether, nearly 1,900 people came along to our two shows on 13 December, and enjoyed the promised sparkling performances from our guests – the RIAM Concert Band, in better form than ever, the two magnificent choirs from Notre Dame Junior School and Mount Anville, and the 4-in-a-Bar barbershop quartet whose wonderfully melodious material ranged from modern Christmas favourites to the sixteenth-century Magnum Mysterium from the Spanish composer Victoria. The choir, if we say it ourselves, wasn’t too bad either: we had fun joining the RIAM band for Chris de Burgh’s ‘A Spaceman Came Travelling‘, and along with the band, the school choir and the mighty NCH organ, the finale, ‘O Holy Night‘, brought the house down as always. It goes without saying that our inimitable soprano/compere, Niamh Murray, and our longtime collaborators, the Billie Barry Stage School, delivered performance value in spades.
We’re already looking forward to next year!
We returned on 17 October to our old stamping-ground of St John’s, Ballinteer where we finally put the Messiah into our CV, opening the concert with a performance of the first part of Handel’s great oratorio.
Our large audience seemed to enjoy that and the other items on the programme, particularly the Haydn trumpet concerto and the spiritual ‘Steal Away‘ from Tippett’s oratorio A Child of Our Time. Our four young singer soloists, along with the seasoned professional musicians – many of them National Symphony orchestra members – of the string ensemble, and of course organist David Leigh, did the programme full justice.
The Church of St John the Evangelist in Ballinteer, Dublin 16 witnessed a dramatic and witty recreation of the biblical Flood on Saturday 19 October 2013, when the Dublin County Choir, accompanied by Celine Kelly on the keyboard, Roger Moffatt on percussion and Neil Dexter on double-bass, gave a performance of Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo, by Michael Flanders and Joseph Horovitz. Musical Director John Dexter conducted, and Ciaran Judge (baritone) sang the parts of God, Noah—and Mrs Ham!
Joh Dexter also conducted the Choir and the same instrumental ensemble in some movements of Bob Chilcott’s Little Jazz Mass. The Choir demonstrated its wonderful vocal sound to best effect in the unaccompanied motet Locus Iste by Anton Bruckner.
The concert also featured the Rathfarnham Concert Band, under the baton of their Musical Director Vincent Kennedy, who entertained us with repertoire ranging from Bizet and Holst to Frankie Valli and Les Miserables.
And the evening was rounded off by Choir and Band under John Dexter’s musical direction with two movements—Tempus est jocundum and the dramatic final movement O Fortuna—from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
This concert was part of the Choir’s continuing policy of maintaining links with the local areas from which it draws many of its members and much of its support.