West Cork’s singing Ambassadors

Posted by The Skibbereen Eagle | February 6, 2018 1

WEST Cork Choral Singers performed in New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall in January as part of a ‘choir of distinction.’

The choir – which features between 40 and 50 men and women from the locality, as well as eight different nationalities who have made West Cork their home – joined choirs from 14 other countries for a special performance at the famous Midtown venue in Manhattan on January 15th 2018.

A unified choir involving 500 singers, plus a full orchestra, performed the premiere of Sir Karl Jenkins’ Sing! The Music Was Given and The Armed Man. Most of the West Cork Choral Singers made the journey, raising around €700 each to defray costs, plus pay for their own flights and accommodation, but all are willing because, as one member, Jacqueline Weij, told The Southern Star: ‘It’s not every day you get to sing in Carnegie Hall.’ Sponsorship was also received from Cork County Council  with County Mayor Declan Hurley’s support for West Cork’s singing ambassadors. 

Under the musical directorship of Diana Llewellyn, were invited to participate in a performance of the music of Sir Karl Jenkins on Monday, January 15th. A spokesperson for Distinguished Concerts International New York City (DCINY) said the performance in the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall will be all the more special because it is scheduled to take place on Martin Luther King Day and will feature the world premiere of the  new large work by Sir Karl Jenkins.  Malcolm Moon said ‘These outstanding musicians joined with other choristers from around the world to form the Distinguished Concerts Singers International, a choir of distinction.

‘Sir Karl Jenkins was present as composer-in-residence with DCINY’s artistic director and principal conductor Jonathan Griffith as conductor of the performance and clinician for the residency.’  Dr Jonathan Griffith confirmed that the West Cork Choral Singers received the invitation because of ‘the quality and high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers, as well as the exceptional quality of their audition recording.’ He said: ‘It is quite an honour just to be invited to perform in New York and these wonderful musicians represent not only a high quality of music and education, but are also ambassadors for their entire community in West Cork.’

Diana Llewellyn, the Welsh musical director of the West Cork Choral Singers, who has lived in Ballydehob for the 24 years, said the choir is already familiar with Jenkins’ work, having performed his Stabat Mater – which is based on a 13th-century prayer – in Abbeystrewery Church in April. She said the event was ‘a huge musical learning experience for the choir.’

The singers spent five days and four nights in New York City in preparation for their concert and approximately ten hours in rehearsals over the five-day residency.

See a video of the performance:

DCINY: A 10th Anniversary Celebration, featuring the music of Sir Karl Jenkins

Thank you for joining us for The Music of Sir Karl Jenkins: A 10th Anniversary Celebration! Live from Carnegie Hall presented by DCINY. Feel free to share feed with your Facebook friends and comment below with any questions or comments. Thank you!Click here for concert program: https://www.dciny.org/wp-content/plugins/sf_sync/cache/00P5000000x21L9.pdf

Posted by Distinguished Concerts International New York – DCINY on Monday, 15 January 2018

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