THREE years ago Limerick’s Sarah O’Kennedy sang at Ireland’s wedding of the year - now she has been voted Ireland’s Church Singer of the Year.
Ms O’Kennedy performed at Brian O’Driscoll’s and Amy Huberman’s wedding in 2010 and many other couples have been impressed too.
Over 28,000 brides and grooms voted in WeddingsOnline.ie 2013 awards. The winners were announced at a gala dinner in Clontarf Castle last week.
Ms O’Kennedy, who is from the Ennis Road but lives in Annacotty, estimates she has sang at over 600 weddings.
“What makes me different is I have a lot of singing experience. I am classically trained so I can sing anything, learn anything and sing in different languages.
“I can do opera one minute and a Celtic hymn the next. A lot of couples like to mix it up,” said Ms O’Kennedy, who is married to Barry and they have three boys, Hugo, 2, Evan, 6, and Adam, 8.
She is a long-time member of Irish choral ensemble Anuna and has recorded and performed all over the world with the group.
As well as her love of singing jazz, in 2010 and 2011 Sarah was the principal female soloist with the Irish Harp Orchestra for their Christmas tours of Germany. She also teaches voice at the Irish Harp Centre run by Dr Janet Harbison in Castleconnell.
“I would like to thank everyone who voted for me. It really is incredible to win Church Singer of the Year, particularly when the competition was so tough.”
She won’t have much time to sit on her laurels and Anuna are kicking off Limerick’s Choral festival 2013 with a concert in St Joseph’s Church on Friday, March 1 at 8pm.
This is followed up by another concert she is involved in on the following Friday, March 8 at 8pm in LIT Millennium theatre.
Gaelscoil Chaladh an Treoigh are organising the event to help raise funds for their new school. As well as Ms O’Kennedy, The Irish Chamber Orchestra Chorus, Owen Gilhooley, Donal Hennessy, UL MA Irish traditional students, Tamasine Plowman, teachers and Gaelscoil students will perform.