The annual Carol Service will be held in the Church of Saints Stephen and John here in Castleisland on this Sunday, December 21st at 7 p.m. The repertoire will include all of the well-known carols and some unusual ones, with solo performances from our cantors.
“The choir loves this time of year and, as the carols are only heard for a short few weeks, they have been practicing since October to make the Christmas music extra special. It is hoped that the congregation will join in with the familiar carols,” said choir member, Mary Walsh.
“The singers will be accompanied by Seán Treacy on piano and our regular accompanists: Emma Shanahan on cello; Kathleen Raymond on flute and Melanie Bowles and Lucy Tanner on violin.
Each year the members of the choir are invited to nominate a charity or good cause and donations for this are optional on the night.
This year the Carol Service is going back to its roots and the proceeds will go towards Tidy Towns. Here’s hoping the weather will be conducive to leaving the fire for an hour and making your way to the church to start the Christmas season with a heart lifting carol service,” said Mary.
Mention of Seán Treacy above reminds me that my attention was drawn to an item to which I, in turn, wish to draw yours. Two of our local singers, Ailish Walsh and Bríd Mills sing professionally under the title Belle Canto. In this, they team up with Seán Tracey of Piano Express and a team of accompanists.
They recently issued a Christmas Greeting by way of a video recording of the beautiful carol, Oh Holy Night. The issue was beautifully filmed in Kiltallagh Church in Castlemaine I believe – and the music is delightful.
The singing, though, is all you’d wish for. If by some strange decree you were allowed to hear just one carol this year – this beautiful rendition of this very special one would be just fine.
And, Ailish and Bríd will be joining all the other wonderful singers at the service here on Sunday evening.
Below, you can read all about Belle Canto and you can see the recording by clicking on the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0AycXYXpFA
Ailish Walsh, M.A.. B.Rel.Sc., H. Dip. Rem. Ed.
Ailish Walsh is a classically trained singer from Castleisland. Having received a B.A. in Music, Education and Theology from Mater Dei Institute of Education in Dublin in 1999, Ailish went on to do a Masters in Chant Performance in the University of Limerick under Professor Micheal O’Suilleabhan.
While completing her Masters Ailish sang with the group Coicead. This group was founded by Noirin Ni Riain and toured all over Ireland, England and Scotland singing for various occasions such as hotel launches, book launches and corporate events. During this time Coicead also worked with RTE, BBC, Liam Lawton, Christy Moore, Luka Bloom, Frances Black, Micheal O’Suilleabhan and the National Concert Orchestra.
Currently Ailish is working as a Second Level music teacher in Castleisland where she has produced and directed ten musicals over the past fourteen years including The Sound of Music, Annie and Oliver to name but a few. She is also Director of the Castleisland Choir who recently performed in the INEC to great acclaim.
Although classically trained in liturgical music Ailish enjoys singing modern Irish music, traditional Irish music, as well as songs from the musicals, jazz and music from the 20’s and 30’s.
Brid Mills, B.A. H.Dip in Ed.
Brid Mills B.A. H.Dip in Ed. is a qualified Teacher and began her voice training at age 15 with the renowned vocal coach Aine Nic Gabhainn. In 1990, she sang the winning song at the Cavan International Song Contest and also won Voice of the Contest in that year.
This led her on a path of performance and she has lived abroad in both Belgium and the Netherlands performing with various international musicians such as Helmut Lotti (Classical Singer), Freddie Bierset (French Lyric Singer) through musical entertainment agencies.
She has played for such Multinationals as: Goodyear Tyre Company; Benelux in the United States; Akzo Nobel Int. in the Netherlands; Nabisco in Switzerland and at many more corporate events.
She has been invited and flown out to sing, as far east as Hong Kong and as far west as San Diego and to numerous cities in between.
She has guested as lead singer for 10 years with The Cork City Jazz Band during their annual performances at the Cork City Jazz Festival and the Kinsale Jazz Festival.
She is a member of the award winning musical group Killarney Musical Society.
With her 2.3 octave range she enjoys singing a huge range of music from Classical to Jazz to Irish Traditional and Musical Show Tunes.
Ailish Walsh is on: 086 8651427 and Bríd Mills can be contacted on: 087 778 3616 / or for more information click on the link here: www.bellecanto.ie