Summer Music at Sandford 2017

This is the fifth year that David O’Shea has organised Friday lunchtime concerts at Sandford Parish Church. These concerts have provided a wide variety of music experiences both by established musicians and those who are at the start of their performing career – these concerts have provided a platform for the up-and-coming musicians of the future. We have enjoyed chamber choirs, soloists (both male and female) accompanied by piano, male voice ensembles, piano recitals, guitar duets and performances from visiting choirs to name but a few of the various performances.

The admission to these concerts has been free and the audience has been encouraged to give a donation which is divided between the performers and the Sandford Organ Restoration Fund. We are very fortunate to share in the enthusiasm with which David O’Shea approaches his role in the parish – it is wonderful to have this exposure to classical and traditional music alongside the music which accompanies our liturgical services.

Thank you to all of the parishioners who have facilitated these performances by being on hand on Fridays to open the church, ensure that the microphones and lights are to the satisfaction of the performers and generally ensure the smooth running of these events. Margaret Wynne

Recitals in August
Perhaps the largest attendance at the series was on August 11, when the choir of Pinner Parish Church, the members of which aged from seven to seventy plus, gave a warmly received performance. In addition to some lovely solos, the choir performed a wide repertoire including oratorio, light-hearted songs and standard Anglican hymns.

The penultimate recital in the series was given by Derek Moylan, a frequent contributor to music at Sandford. Derek is a graduate of the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is the organist for the parish of St Catherine and St James with St Audeon, a piano teacher at Newpark Music Centre Blackrock, and musical director of the Tallaght Cancer Support Group. Derek played an extensive variety of piano music by Debussy, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff to a large and appreciative audience.

The series concluded on August 25 with a selection of Irish and South American art songs performed by Áine Mulvey (Mezzo-Soprano) accompanied by Annalisa Monticelli on piano, which attracted a large audience. Áine has worked with many of Ireland’s top ensembles and her multiple awards include those for Oratorio, Operatic and Irish song. She was awarded a scholarship in 2016 by DCU to pursue a PhD in the area of Irish Art Song and the Literary Revival.

Annalisa began studying piano at the age of five, performing her first solo concert at the age of eight and chamber music concert at the age of ten. Born in Italy, she moved to Dublin in 2014, and works at both the Dundalk Institute and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. With numerous Master’s qualifications, she also teaches piano and chamber music masterclasses.

The Irish songs included works by Hamilton Harty, John Larchet and Ina Boyle, and the songs in Spanish were by Guridi, Guastavino and Montsalvatge. We were indeed very fortunate to have artistes of the calibre of Áine and Annalisa; the South American songs were a particular hit with the audience, ending a very successful concert series on a high note. 

Much gratitude is due to David O’Shea for organising and coordinating the Summer Music series again this year. We’re looking forward to next year already!

Betty Hilliard

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