THE Tullamore Gramophone Society 2011/2012 season of fortnightly recitals of recorded music concluded on Thursday last with the traditional end of season Open Night, when each member gets to play a favourite short piece.
Opera singer Celine Byrne was the most popular performer of the night, being chosen for three numbers - For Eternity, Rusalka's Song to the Moon and Les Filles de Cadiz. Celine Byrne has recently made her Covent Garden debut in Dvorak's Rusalka and the role of Mimi in Puccini's La Boheme.
Variety was the spice of the night, which began with a poem The Old Violin, followed by two brass band pieces - The Piper in the Meadow and The Fair at Ballycastle. Piano favourites included a John Field Nocturne and Canadian Red. From the world of opera, choices were an aria from Handel's Julius Caesar and The Soldiers Chorus from Gounod's Faust.
Two people chose music from films - Ladies in Lavender and Dances with Wolves. Orchestral favourites included The Music Box, Bizet's Farandole and Faure's Pavane. Pop and folk music were not neglected and included Ebony Eyes by the Everly Brothers, Tom Paxton's The Last Thing on my Mind and Paul Brady's The Island sung by Dolores Keane. Vera Lynn's recording of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square introduced a note of nostalgia.
Some great voices included Barbara Bonnie singing Elizabethan Song and My Dream sung by Stewart Burroughs. Without a Song introduced a new tenor, Noah Stewart, who has been mentored by Leontyne Price. The final choice on the programme was an O'Carolan planxty played by Dermot O'Brien on accordion, a planxty being a composition in honour of patron or person admired by the composer.
The next season of fortnightly recitals will commence in September. There are also plans for an autumn concert in Charleville Castle by an ensemble which includes Hugh Tinney on piano and Fionnuala Hunt on violin.
Please note that the TGS opera gala concert in Charleville Castle on Saturday, May 5 in aid of Tullamore Community Arts Centre is completely sold out and on this occasion there will not be any tickets available at door on the night of the concert.