Limerick Choral Union mark 50 years of song with concert

50 years of song: The Limerick Choral Union, who perform in the University Concert Hall on Friday, April 18, celebrate their 50th anniversary this April, marking it with a specially commissioned piece
LIMERICK Choral Union will mark its 50th anniversary with a concert in the UCH next week that features a specially commissioned piece.

LIMERICK Choral Union will mark its 50th anniversary with a concert in the UCH next week that features a specially commissioned piece.

The 110-strong choir will sing spirestone, written by classical composer Fiona Linnane and playwright Mary Coll, to mark ‘50 years of song’.

The popular choir, formed in 1964, still boasts two current members who sang Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ 50 years ago, Margaret Murphy and Stephen O’Shea, and boasts members from 18 to 80 years of age, with very strong family traditions running throughout.

The celebratory concert will feature the world premiere of spirestone on Good Friday, April 18, while soloists Franzita Whelan, Sarah-Ellen Murphy, Julian Hubbard and Gyula Nagy will all also perform.

“The choir was formed in 1964 and was formed for what is now known as the RTE Orchestra, they were coming to Limerick and there was no choir at the time, so they took people from different church choirs and joined to form the choral union,” explained secretary Lorraine MacMahon.

“It has just gone from strength to strength - 50 years now in April, so it is big deal for the choir, a very significant milestone.”

Mary Coll and Fiona Linnane, who wrote the lyrics and music to spirestone, both have relatives who were founding members of the choir.

“We are very proud of it and were happy to do it and it is great fun,” explained Mary. “Most of the choir are Limerick and are very proud of the choir and the singing tradition, and I wanted something that we could sing out with pride about Limerick.

“We didn’t want a ballad, a sentimental piece, but something that caught a little of the sound, the smell, the taste, the spirit of a place.”

Limerick Choral Union perform in the UCH on Friday, 18 at 8pm. www.uch.ie.