75th anniversary Proms in Park for our 12th infantry Battalion


By Rose Rushe

Band 1 Brigade at People’s Park, July 24 at 6pm
Band 1 Brigade at People’s Park, July 24 at 6pm

PROMS in the Park on the evening of July 24 will raise the air with airs for two significant occasions, Limerick City of Culture 2014, and the 75th anniversary of the reactivation of 12th Battalion of Sarsfield Barracks.

It’s going to be an outdoors, feel good mix of marches, film scores, light opera and the American songbook, with the occasional surprise lift.

The Limerick based army battalion floated the idea towards the end of last year and got funding. This summer excitement now features the 35-strong Band 1 Brigade,  operating out of Collins Barracks, Cork: “our area stretches beyond all of Munster right up to Galway”, reports Captain Brian Prendergast, conductor in People’s Park on July 12.

Captain Brian Prendergast will conduct
Captain Brian Prendergast will conduct

Captain Prendergast is no ornery c’pn. He joined the army in 1980, plays multiple instruments; worked as professional bassoon player and will lead the multi-instrumental band and programme for Limerick’s first ever Proms in the Park on Thursday July 24, 6pm.

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He makes clear that Commandant Pat Murnane in the 12th Battalion as instigator of the People’s Park occasion for the big 75th.

“The programme will be a mix for all ages and mindful of being an open air concert,” this conductor suggests. “We have a mix between classical and light opera with a Tchaikovsky overture, scores by John Williams and John Barry, music from ‘Pirates of the Carribean’ and ‘Harry Potter’ and marches by John Philip Sousa. He’s the man who wrote the ‘Stars and Stripes’ march and  hundreds more”.

Sarah Dolan, professional opera singer
Sarah Dolan, opera singer

Professional singer Sarah Dolan will sing light opera in the first half of Proms in [People’s] Park and take from the American Songbook in the second.

Free to all, assemble at 6pm to hear the wind, brass and percussion army players, groomed to glory at the Defence Forces School of Music (est. 1923) and giving their all.