Limerick Choral Union look to Messiah for Christmas concert

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Christmas season: Limerick Choral Union perform Handels Messiah in the UCH on Saturday, December 5 at 8pm. Tickets on sale now

LIMERICK Choral Union returns to the University Concert Hall next week to kick off the festive season in earnest.

The 110 strong choir will perform Handel’s Messiah for its annual Christmas concert, welcoming soloists Jean Wallace, Martha Bredin, Patrick Hyland and John Molloy.

The choir, operating under the baton of conductor Malcolm Green, are currently hard at work rehearsing for the December 5 concert and are looking forward to performing the “awe inspiring oratorio”, a feature of their concerts stretching back over the decades.

The choral union is embedded in the musical fabric of Limerick having been in existence for 51 years - marking the half century with a number of special events in 2014 and looking to its past in April to perform Verdi’s Requiem, which it first sang in 1966.

For the Christmas concert, chairperson Lorraine MacMahon explains, the choral union’s “very organised committee” is proud to note that two members of the choir who performed its first concert of Mozart’s Requiem in 1964 remain involved.

“Families have grown up with the choir and it has been a tradition for many members to join along with their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives,” she explained.

“It is this sense of belonging, pride and accomplishment that the choir continues to flourish.

“Most of our members have spent many enjoyable years with the choir, but we are particularly delighted that we have two current members of the choir who performed in 1964.

“Margaret Murphy was just a slip of a teenager when she sang in this first concert and is thrilled and delighted to still be a very important part of our choir. Stephen O’Shea, the well known Tenor soloist, also sang in the first concert and fifty years on, is still a very important member of the choir and committee.”

Tickets on sale now. See www.uch.ie.