Number 12. Saturday, 3rd January, 2015

A very Happy, Healthy and Musical New Year to all of you following The Orpheus Choir – Co. Cork!

This is The Orpheus Choir's tenth anniversary year and we are looking forward to it being a bumper year for the choir and, of course, for all its followers, now more than 150 of you!

First of all, we are delighted to welcome two new members into the choir – a soprano and a tenor – and hope that they will soon feel right at home with the rest of the gang! A former member of the altos, we are also delighted to say, is returning to the fold after a while abroad. Consequently, the ranks are now very nicely balanced with a total of nine sopranos, six altos, five tenors and nine basses!
St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork City
That is not to say that we no longer wish to recruit new members to the choir! On the contrary, new blood is always welcome (or rather, new voices!) and absolutely necessary to feed and revitalise any club. However, let us never forget, that 'The club' still prides itself on retaining members, who are also celebrating their tenth anniversary, or very nearly, with the choir this year and their loyalty and commitment to the choir has helped to make it what it is today.

There are two concerts booked for the spring season. The first one in the First Fruits Arts Centre in Watergrasshill, Co. Cork on Saturday, 21st. March and the second, our 10th. Anniversary Opera Gala Concert in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork City on Saturday, 16th. May. Both concerts will feature quite a collection of famous arias and choruses from operas, some even semi-staged!, in collaboration with a young rising star in the Cork area, the baritone, Andrew Thomson, and the excellent pianist, Thomas Doyle. In St. Fin Barre's, we will also be joined by a female singer, who will perform the ever-popular 'Habanera' from 'Carmen' together with the choir.

The First Fruits Arts Centre, a project presented by the Watergrasshill Community Association, is a new, multi-purpose, 150+ seating arts centre located in the former Church of Ireland on the southern edge of the village. The modern theatre, built within the walls of the church, has been tastefully designed to recognise its architectural heritage, but the new section at the rear houses all the necessary modern facilities, including a cosy café. The proceeds of our concert will go to the Arts Centre to assist their fundraising efforts.

First Fruits Art Centre, Watergrasshill
With our Gala Concert in St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, however, we hope to raise not only funds for, but also awareness of the magnificent work done by a charity that The Orpheus Choir champions: Médecins sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders, those courageous people, who, every day, put their lives at risk providing emergency medical care wherever the need is greatest, whether it be in a warzone or an outbreak of the horrendous Ebola disease. A representative from their Dublin office will be giving an address to introduce the proceedings on May 16th.

But before that concert, we shall be attending the Cork International Choral Festival again this year, entering the National Open Competition for Mixed Choirs and singing in the hub of 'choral sociability', the Atrium of the Clarion Hotel, on Saturday, 2nd. May, 2015. 

Hilary Reynolds - musical director