Posted by: mdmusingsie | March 16, 2012

St. Patrick’s – cuid a haon

Celebrating St. Patrick’s isn’t limited to a single day, here in Ireland, but spread over a long weekend.

To kick off the festivities, there was a little slice of America in the form of the Notre Dame (Fighting Irish) Marching Band.  Due to march in the Dublin parade on Saturday, the band was making the most of their trip to Ireland which included a stop in Galway.  Just as I get used to Irish time, they happen to start this particular event on American time (or even possibly early), so I was only able to catch the last tune in front of the King’s Head pub.  As their performance was accompanied by some traditional Irish weather, I’m sure the participants were only too happy to get out of the mist and wrap their hands around a pint.  However, that didn’t stop the music, as the band could still be enjoyed periodically by pub patrons as well as passersby.

More music capped off the evening with the Seoda Phádraig concert at St. Nicholas’ church presented by Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe and Tom Cullivan.   I enjoy many kinds of music so this classical concert wasn’t a total departure from my normal pursuits.  The primary performers included Tom Cullivan, pianist; Elena Gekker, pianist; Delia Boyce, soprano; Sebastien Petiet, violin; and Seosamh O’Flaitherta, glór.

The entertainment began with four Scottish pipers (sadly gan kilts – there’s something about a man in a kilt…), as the concert was being attended by Hildegarde Naughton, Mayor of Galway as well as Fergus Wood, Lord Provost of Stirling (Scotland).  Both dignitaries were to sign a memorandum of cultural exchange in the Galway City Hall on Friday, formalizing the process that began with the Galway-Stirling music sessions several years ago.

Unbeknownst to myself, Mayor Naughton is an accomplished singer who was enticed to sing a few tunes before the intermission, one operatic and the other a classical interpretation of the Colahan version of Galway Bay.  Not to be outdone, the Mayor of Stirling, also a talented musician was asked to participate after the break.  He mentioned that had he known the event was to be classical in nature, he would have brought his Italian, opera trained wife; however, since she hadn’t accompanied him on the visit, he entertained the crowd with a few of what I call ‘pub songs’ which were just as welcome to the crowd as we merrily joined in on the curfás.

All the musicians were uniquely talented and it was particularly interesting hearing some traditional Irish tunes such as Táim-se Im’ Chodhladh and Mo Giolla Mear (both I’ve seen spelled a myriad of ways) being performed in a classical style.  I believe it shows just how widely appealing Irish music can be.

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Stay tuned for more on St. Patrick’s in Ireland…


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