Last Sunday, 17 February in Killeagh Hall, patrons from Cork City, East Cork and its environs enjoyed an afternoon of literary and musical delights, and were warmly welcomed by hospitality manager, Anne Fitzgerald. Guest artist Sean O’ Se was at his very best and had the audience in the palm of his hand regaling jokes and stories of bygone days in Ballylickey and its surrounding West Cork townlands.. His unique voice is like a good wine, sweeter with age, and this veteran performer proved just how constant dedication to his craft has him at the top of the performers list. His rendition of Carrigfergus, An Poc ar buile and The Banks not to mention his famed singing of Amhráin Na Bfhiann, completed this great entertainer’s performance on Sunday and his followers and fans were truly satisfied as shown by their standing ovation. He will be back.
The effervescent Dan Sexton, Killeagh’s answer to Mario Lanza, sang with great gusto and showmanship in his ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ and ‘The Miller’s Daughter’ and was equalled in brilliance by Shereen Dent’s magnificent singing of ‘The Nuns Chorus’ from Strauss’ Casanova and ‘Early in the Morning’. It was a first- class performance from both singers.
In the Junior Platform, Ella Rose McDonald and Kate O’Connor’s youthful simplicity and sweetness in ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and ‘Baby Mine’ were a delightful contrast in timbre and tone. Anna Sheehan’s solo, The Sea Song, on tin whistle was sensitive, musical and one could hear a pin fall such was the beauty of this acapella traditional number. Anna’s singing of the challenging ‘Star Candles’ by Michael Head exhibited a great sense of interpretation and musical line.
In contrasting style and medium, ‘The Lark in the clear Air’ and ‘Believe if all those endearing young charms’ were played with great technical control and beauty by violinist Florence Fitzgerald and her audience really showed their appreciation of this classical performance with their rapturous applause.
Literary performances included the inimitable Eileen Hunt’s delivery of John B Keane’s ‘Young Love’ and the classic poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling. The audience were left in no doubt as to the perfect diction, nuance and clarity of speech of this performer. Her personal sense of fun was at all time evident and well transmitted to her audience.
Anne Healy, Chairperson of the Midleton Writers Group, read her own work “Wearing the Trousers” and its clever humorous innuendos were equalled in poignancy in her second reading of her work entitled’ Time Traveller’. These works by this talented writer are worthy of publication and Anne’s works will be published shortly in a forthcoming Anthology by the Midleton Writers group.
A big thank you to Anne Barry and Carmel Barry for front of house and Stage manager Dan Sexton. Mary Pedder Daly producer and accompanist. See press for further details of next Variety Concert.