Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, we’ll present a program featuring traditional and contemporary Irish songs, as well as music from neighboring Scotland and Wales. The performance is set for Saturday, March 13 at 2 pm, in the parking garage of 316, Inc. (316 S. Baylen St.). Admission to the half-hour program is free, but donations are welcome.
Although the program includes several traditional songs, it begins with two contemporary pieces by Welsh composer Paul Mealor. “Jubilate Deo” is a celebratory setting of two verses from Psalm 100; its flowing central section sets several lines by Welsh poet Grahame Davies. Mealor wrote “Wherever You Are” for the Military Wives, a chorus made up of spouses and partners of British armed services personnel deployed in the Afghanistan War. He drew the text from their letters, and the chorus’ recording of the song shot to the top of the charts in the U.K. in December 2011.
Ireland is represented with three numbers, two with familiar tunes arranged by Alice Parker. The first, “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye,” is probably more often sung in the States to the Civil War-era text “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” The second is the beloved Londonderry Air, usually sung to the words of “Danny Boy.” Parker’s arrangement marries the tune to “My Gentle Harp,” verses by Ireland’s national poet Thomas Moore. The Irish set concludes with the driving “Dulaman,” a folk text set by contemporary composer Michael McGlynn.
The program concludes with an instrumental rendition of “Loch Lomond” and James Mulholland’s settings of two love poems by Scotland’s Robert Burns: “Highland Mary” and “A Red, Red Rose.”
The chorus will be conducted by our interim director Peter Steenblik, and, in addition to the chorus’ collaborative pianist Isabelle Areola, instrumentalists include Dale Riegle and Jonathan Martin (trumpets) and Honya Richbourg (percussion).