International interest swells Limerick Sings festival to 700 choristers

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M'ANAM's Limerick premier this Thursday 7th at 7pm

STRATEGIC planning 18 months in advance ensures that Limerick Sings International Choral Festival will see its biggest year to date and biggest performance schedule. Jetfuls of choristers are travelling to take part in the public performances, workshops, a Big Sing; and master classes that orbit University Concert Hall from Thursday June 7 into Sunday June 10.

Flashpoints lit are a mayoral welcome for Grammy winning composer/ conductor Eric Whitacre on Saturday 9 at UCH;  a weekend free choral trail  of pop up concerts to enliven St Augustine’s Church, Crescent Shopping Centre and Milford chapel; some 220 choristers gracing the concert hall for the gala concert of various with orchestra.

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Jennifer Flewett is key to the festival committee. “Limerick Sings just keeps growing and growing,” she notifies Arts page cheerfully. “It was set up in 2013 by interested volunteers and hoteliers in the area and now we have choristers from every corner of the world coming.

“This year they arrive from the US, Estonia, Norway, Iceland and from Ireland of course, and Limerick choirs. We have close to 700 choristers in all taking part.”

Consider the four public concerts that are open to all and accessible with tickets from €10 only, booking at www.uch.ie

“We are really fortunate to open the festival in UCH on Thursday June 7 at 7pm with M’ANAM, which is an all male vocal group that has grown out of Anúna. Michael McGlynn is directing and no, there’s no instrumentation.

“On Friday 8th at 8.15pm in the Redemptorist Church, seven choirs are joining to sing folk, sacred music, trad. There will be almost 220 in all and piano. Lorcan Murray of RTE lyric fm will present, he’s a long term friend of the festival.”

Saturday 9‘s gala concert is in UCH, tying in with the concert hall’s 25th anniversary year. This is another joint  concert with performances from visiting Pennsylvanian and Florida concerts directed by the renowned Dr Jeffery Redding, “a really big name in the world of choirs.” Accompaniment is by Limerick Chamber Players who toot for 8pm.

Then Eric Whitacre will make his anticipated presentation and  perform.

Limerick Choral Union returns to this venue, led by musical director Malcolm Green. Throughout, Liz Nolan of RTE lyric fm will introduce this eventful programme of music.

Finally, Sunday June 10 will close it all in Adare with the annual Proms, “a lighter programme,” suggests Jennifer. “The venue is Holy Trinity Abbey at 3.30pm and the church holds 450. Last year we packed out.

“Five choirs will sing, and there will be musical theatre and Icelandic music in the mix.” Now that’s a closing two-bars to full days of Limerick Sings 2018.