Choir’s anniversary celebrations

Father Eugene O'Hagan,  Alderman Victor Robinson, Mayor of Newtownabbey, Vicki Robinson, Mayoress, Sheelagh Greer director of music, David Knox, principal of Ballyclare High School and choir chairman Alan Strong. INNT 11-614con
Father Eugene O'Hagan, Alderman Victor Robinson, Mayor of Newtownabbey, Vicki Robinson, Mayoress, Sheelagh Greer director of music, David Knox, principal of Ballyclare High School and choir chairman Alan Strong. INNT 11-614con

Music vibrated around Ballyclare High School to a packed audience as The Clare Chorale led a star-studded line up for its 10th birthday concert, with BBC Broadcaster Richard Yarr as compere.

Sheelagh Greer as founder musical director and conductor, summoned all the energy, skills and passionate singing of her 39 member mixed voice choir to produce an impressive selection from its opening piece of vision ‘Dare to Dream’ to the closing rendition of ‘Anthem’ from the hit musical Chess, all accompanied by Darren Baird.

Sheelagh, who is a celebrated Mezzo Soprano, introduced seven new choir pieces in an eleven item concert repertoire, and this included the choir’s signature song, Caledonia, which had been written by Dougie Maclean but sung to Sheelagh’s own arrangement.

Ballyduff Silver Band, directed by Graham Murray, showed its award winning talents with a superb breadth of brass music, exciting its audience with its marching music and the Snow Patrol medley.

However, the jewel in the crown of the celebrations was when local cleric Father Eugene O’Hagan entertained with an operatic performance of Celtic and folk music.

The extended applause for his own unique composition of ‘Phil the Fluter’s Ball’ was true testimony to his international musical skills as member of ‘The Priests’ as well as his undoubted abilities as a tenor soloist and entertainer.

Alderman Victor Robinson, Mayor of Newtownabbey Borough Council, summed up the mood in his glowing praise for the Chorale and the top drawer concert as “a true reflection of talent in this borough”.

Choir chairman, Alan Strong, was full of appreciation to Newtownabbey council for help with floral arrangements and to Ballyclare High School’s principal David Knox for its close working relations and open-door policy to the choir.

Formed by 16 past pupils of the high school in 2003, the choir’s seven remaining founder members of Barbara Lowry, Gillian Logan, Heather Close, Carol Sherrard, Vera Jones, Nigel Cinnamon and David Holmes were celebrated.

The choir is performing in Glengormley Methodist on Sunday, March 24 and in 2nd Ballyeaston Presbyterian on May 11.

For further information contact Kay Johnston on 079 7377 7719.