John McCullagh December 18, 2008

Let me first offer humble apologies for advertising this wonderful event AFTER the fact, but since I had not booked tickets, I might have ‘shot myself in the foot’ by offering pre-publicity for what is ALWAYS (and rightfully) a sell-out concert!  It was superb!


Joanne Quigley – who will be Mrs McParland in two weeks time – has been organising this great event for many years and participating in it for decades.  She is a wonderful violinist and a charming young lady.  She also has put Newry on the ‘classical music’ map by arranging a series of such concerts here with a variety of talented guests throughout the year.

I promise in future to give you advanced notice of each and every such event!

Her younger brother David is now a pianist of huge international standing and indeed, he is in such high demand worldwide that he rarely gets a chance to come home and perform in Newry. 

At last, an area where we can rightfully claim to have world-class performers and in a cultural pursuit of the highest calibre.  I am so proud!

*****

David’s high standing in the field means of course that he has acquired greatly-talented and influential friends, some of whom he manages to attract to our shores! 

Last night it was married couple Amanda Winfield (soprano) and Ravil Atlas (tenor) who – as befits the name – have conquered the world!  Amanda’s performance of Mascagni’s Ave Maria brought tears to my eyes to the point where I had to hide my face from a possibly-bemused but certainly-bewitched audience. 

Every other rendition was equally fantastic, both from our guests and from our own home-grown fabulous family pair!

It would probably be both self-indulgent and invidious of me to continue in this vein – to detail the excellent programme, for example – so I will conclude merely by encouraging you to become a "Friend of Newry Chamber Music" and to attend all future concerts.

It will literally be ‘for your own good!’.

 

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