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Heavenly Harp Music at St Iberius Church

Christmas Harp Concert 2017

There was not a spare seat to be had at St Iberius Church, Wexford for last Sunday’s Christmas Harp Concert. Organised by Ceoltóirí Munna the afternoon show, under the stewardship of MC extraordinaire Pat O’Callaghan, featured musicians from Ceóltóirí Munna itself along with a host of invited guests.

The show started with The Heavenly Harp Group led by player/teacher Shelly O’Grady. They were joined on stage by the class percussion group under teacher Elaine O’Connor. Tenor Michael Flood from Gorey sang stunning versions of The “Wexford Carol” and “O Holy Night”. The Junior Ceoltóirí Munna Band performed a selection of polkas and Christmas carols. There was then a very moving tribute, given by the recently re-formed Wexford Pipers Club, to the memory of the late uilleann pipe maker Victor Mullally. Leader Catherine Roche was joined by special guest Luke Rowsome, young Eoin Doyle, himself playing a Victor Mullally set of pipes, Éanna Harrington and John Morrissey. Grace Harper and members of Victor’s family also performed. Soprano Rita Conroy sang a beautiful version of “In the Bleak Mid Winter” with accompaniment by pianist Emer Mullhall. The Senior band then played two rousing sets of tunes before being joined by members of New Ross Pipe Band for some uplifting music on bagpipes & drums. The Wicklow Miners Comhaltas Group played a set of tunes. Emer Mullhall and Willie Carley then sang a beautiful version of “This Christmas” with Emer playing piano and Willie on guitar. From here on it was non-stop entertainment as one act after another took to the stage: Melanie Carthy’s lilting group did a lovely version of “Saddle the Pony” jig; the Junior Singing Group performed “When Christmas comes to Town” from the movie The Polar Express; Pat O’Callaghan sang a popular Pecker Dunne song; and, to wrap up the show in lively fashion, the Harper Lambert Family joined the Seniors for one final uplifting set with the sean nós dancers dancing in the aisles. Barbara Walsh of Ceoltóirí Munna was delighted with the success of the event. She thanked all the special guests who performed at the concert and she was especially appreciative of the presence of members of the Mullally family. Barbara thanked all the students for entertaining the audience with their wonderful playing. She finished by expressing the gratitude of the group to Revd Arthur Minion for making the group so welcome.

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Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is the largest group involved in the preservation and promotion of Irish traditional music. We’re a non-profit cultural movement with hundreds of local branches around the world, and as you can read in our history we’ve been working for the cause of Irish music since the middle of the last century (1951 to be precise). Our efforts continue with increasing zeal as the movement launches itself into the 21st century.

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Is Ionad Gaeilge agus Cultúir é An Tobar atá suite i mBaile Loch Garman. Tá idir eagraíochtaí ceoil, Gaeilge, damhsa agus amhránaíochta lonnaithe ag An Tobar.