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St Barrahane’s Music Festival

2016 saw the 36th year of the St. Barrahane's Church Festival of Music in Castletownshend


The aims of the Festival are simple:

•    To promote classical music
•    To provide a platform for young artists
•    To provide entertainment for locals and tourists
•    To contribute to the upkeep of St. Barrahane’s Church 

The first Festival was organised in 1980 and except for 1987, has taken place annually ever since.

Amongst the distinguished musicians to have played are the RTÉ Vanbrugh String Quartet, the Crawford Piano Trio, David Agnew, oboe, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, trumpet, Director of the Royal Academy of Music, London, Professor Gerard Gillen, organ, of Maynooth College, Brigid Knowles, contralto, Catherine Leonard, violin, Philip Martin, piano and composer, Dr. John O’Conor, piano, Dr. Geraldine O'Grady, violin, Professor Micheal O'Suilleabhain, Limerick University, Cara O'Sullivan, soprano, Ioana Petcu-Colan, violin, Peter Sweeney, former Organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, and Hugh Tinney, piano.

About St Barrahane’s

This parish first appears in 1199 as Glenberchin and then in 1615 as Glenbarahan. The patron saint has been identified with Berehan, son of Man of Sil Ludach Laidhe. The eastern gable of the original Church still stands in the old graveyard at Castlehaven, at the south-western end of the harbour.

Owing to a movement of the Protestant population eastwards to the village then forming, now called Castletownshend, a petition was sent in 1756 to the Lord Lieutenant and his Majesty's Privy Council of Ireland asking permission to build a church more in the centre of the parish, "owing to the danger of shipwreck suffered by the devout on their way to church in winter."

The new Church cannot have been well built or maintained and the present church was therefore built on the same site, in 1826, at a cost of £1,384 12s 3¾d. The architect was James Pain and the Church is built of stone from Horse Island. Originally it had the high box pews, each with its own door, that were normal at the period. These were replaced by the present pews in 1889.

There are fifty-two steps up to the Church, one for every Sunday of the year!

A number of the stained glass windows in the church are by Harry Clarke of Dublin (1889-1931) one of the greatest glass craftsmen of modern times. These include the East window above the altar; the window in the South wall of the chancel; and the third window on the South side of the Church.

The bronze chandeliers and the stone tablet in the North wall are in memory of Dr. E. Œ. Somerville, Litt. D. The latter was designed by W.H. Sharpington. Both were subscribed for by the Doctor's many American admirers. Dr. Somerville is buried on the bank at the east end of the Church. Her grave is marked by a rough country stone, which she had chosen herself. Her lifelong friend and collaborator, Violet Martin (Martin Ross) lies beside her. Together they wrote The Irish R. M., The Real Charlotte and The Big House of Inver.

The floor mosaic was designed by Dr. Enid Somerville. It is based on Celtic symbols and decorations and includes the fish (the primitive symbol of the holy name), and two representations of the Ardagh Chalice. It was laid in 1925 by Rust & Co. of England. Most of the gold mosaic had to be replaced in 1964.

The Organ, which was built by Foster & Andrews of Hull in 1872 and installed at a cost of £168.0.6d., carries a plaque stating that Dr. E. Œ. Somerville acted as organist for seventy years, from 1875 to 1945. It was restored in 1957 in memory of Jane Townsend of the Red House.

The 2017 Festival is from 20 July to 19 August


Thursday 20th July 2017, 8 pm
Trio Avalon
Ioanna Petcu-Colan - violin
Gerald Peregrine - cello
Michael McHale - piano


Haydn: Piano Trio in G Major Hob XV:25 (Gypsy Rondo)

Beethoven: Piano Trio in D major 'Ghost' op.70 no.1


Benedict Schlepper-Connolly: A Space of Life Between

Mendelssohn: Piano Trio in D Minor op.49 no.1

“one of the highlights of my listening”
Julain Haylock, the Strad.

ENSEMBLE AVALON are a critically acclaimed Irish piano trio, originally formed in 2006. Founding members Ioana Petcu Colan - violin, Gerald Peregrine - cello and Michael McHale - piano, have performed together across Ireland, America and Italy, exploring standard trio repertoire, as well as commissioning new works by Irish composers.


Thursday 27th July 2017, 8 pm
Musici Ireland
Riona O'Duinnin - Flute
Dianne Marshall - Harp
Beth McNinch - Viola


Harp, Flute and Viola
Elegiac Trio - Arnold Bax
The Coolin - Traditional, arr. M. Esposito
Flute and Harp
My Lagan Love - Traditional, arr. Hamilton Harty
Harp Solos
O'Carolan's Farewell - Turlough O'Carolan
Si Bheag Si Mhorv - Turlough O'Carolan
Flute Solo
Syrinx - Claude Debussy
Harp, Flute and Viola
Sonata - Claude Debussy
i. Pastorale: Lento, dolce rubato
ii. Interlude: Tempo di minuetto
iii. Finale: Allegro moderato ma risoluto


Harp, Flute and Viola
Terzettino - Theodore Dubois
Arrangements of Traditional Airs - John Buckley
The Bard of Armagh
Eleanor Plunkett
The Plains of Boyle
Harp Solo
Clair de Lune - Claude Debussy
Harp, Flute and Viola
Sonatine - Maurice Ravel
i. Moderé
ii. Mouvement de ménuet
iii. Animé

Saturday 29th July 2017
St. Mary's Church Choir of Wimbledon

The programme may include most of the following pieces:
Justorum Animae - Byrd
So fahr ich hin - Schutz
Almighty and everlasting God - Gibbons
There is an Old Belief - Parry (+ possibly other Songs of Farewell)
Cast me not away - Wesley
Geistliches Lied - Brahms
Valiant for Truth - Vaughan-Williams
Beati Quorum Via - Stanford
Where is thy God - Ben Rowarth
Omnipotens et sempiterne Deus / Piers Kennedy
Set me as a seal - Eleanor Daley
Abide with Me - Hogan
Arrangements of Cockles and Mussels and the Londonderry Air

The Choir of St Mary's, Wimbledon, made up (in its entirety) of 8-13 year old choristers, sixth-form choral scholars, recent graduates, and people into more mature years, rehearses a wide range of repertoire at St. Mary's on Friday evenings (SW19 7BP) and leads the congregation in worship for weekly Sunday morning Eucharist and Choral Evensong services. It also sings large-scale choral works with high-quality professional instrumentalists at St Mary's (this year, Duruflé Requiem and Bach St. Matthew Passion) and in central London, as part of the Brandenburg Festival. It visits St Paul's and Westminster Abbey annually for evensong, as well as other UK cathedrals, and tours (Bavaria 2016) and Ireland (2017). There is an active social calendar, including lieder/folk evenings, cricket and ultimate frisbee, and skiing trips!

Thursday 3rd August 2017, 8 pm
The Irish Guitar Quartet

Jerry Creedon, David Keating, Colin McLean, Aengus Kirakowski


1. Lotus Eaters   Andrew York (b. 1958)
2. Organ Fugue in G minor BWV 578 – ‘little Fugue’   J.S. Bach (1685 - 1750)
3. Stairs (1998)   David Pritchard (b. 1949)
4. Quiccan (1993)   Andrew York (b. 1958)
5. Gnossiennes After Erik Satie (2002)   Stephen Goss (b. 1964)
Gnossienne 3 - Gymnopédie 3 - Gnossienne 4 - Gymnopédie 1 - Gnossienne 4
6. Grises y Soles   Maximo Diego Pujol (b. 1957)


1. Carmen Suite arr. William Kanengiser   Georges Bizet (1838-1875)
Argonaise - Habanera - Seguidilla - Toreadors - Entr’acte - Gypsy Dance
2. Cuban Landscape with Rain   Leo Brouwer (b. 1939)
3. Bluezilian   Clarice Assad (b. 1978)
4. Pachelbel’s “Loose Canon” Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706)
arr. by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
5. Cafezinho   Matthew Dunne

The Irish guitarist JERRY CREEDON was born in Cork and has studied guitar from a young age. After graduating from University College, Cork, he studied with the famed German guitarist Siegfried Behrend in Germany; a Spanish Government Scholarship enabled him to study at the Andres Segovia Summer School in Santiago de Compostela; the Irish Arts Council grant-aided him to attend master classes given by world-famous virtuoso John Williams in Cordoba.

Jerry Creedon is a Lecturer of Classical Guitar and founder of the Classical Guitar Studies Programme (since 1998) at the state of the art CIT Cork School of Music. He has attracted some of the world’s most famous guitarists to perform and teach at the CIT Cork School of Music including John Williams, The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Xue Fei Yang, Roland Dyens, Fabio Zanon, Craig Ogden, David Leisner, Christoph Jaggin, Jacob Lindberg and William Carter.

Jerry is an experienced musician and has performed in Ireland, Germany and Spain, both as a soloist and a chamber musician. He has appeared with numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles and has his own Jazz Ensemble with which he performs at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. He has performed at the National Concert Hall, Universities and numerous Festivals. Jerry has recorded CDs of music by Sanz, Pujol and Villa-Lobos and has recently formed the highly acclaimed Irish Guitar Quartet. He recently performed on the film score to Paul Mercier’s 'Pursuit'.

Irish guitarist David Keating was recently awarded a First Class Honours MMus Degree in classical guitar performance at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, where he studied with Craig Ogden. Previously David studied in Dublin with John Feeley and in Cork with Jerry Creedon. He achieved a First Class Honours degree at the CIT Cork School of Music, where he now teaches classical guitar.

David has won many of the important music prizes in Ireland including the John Vallery Memorial Prize in the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year Competition, the CIT CSM Senior Recital Competition and the Feis Ceoil Cup and Gold Medal for Classical Guitar Performance. He has attended masterclasses with some of the world’s leading guitarists including Xue Fei Yang, Gary Ryan, William Kanengiser, and Scott Tennant. Following his London debut at Bolivar Hall in November 2013, David was invited to perform at a masterclass with the renowned classical guitarist John Williams in CIT CSM in 2013.

Colin McLean is one of Ireland’s leading Classical Guitarists. He has studied with some of the most prestigious teachers including Jerry Creedon, Fabio Zanon and Tilman Hoppstock. He has received master classes from Paul Gregory, David Leisner, Magnus Anderson and Craig Ogden. Some of his achievements include winning Feis Maitiu two years running for solo Classical Guitar and being the first ever guitarist to win the Senior Recital Competition in the CIT Cork School of Music. He has an Honours Degree and an Honours Masters from the CIT Cork School of Music, which he completed with the great virtuoso Fabio Zanon.

Recently Colin has formed his own Latin Trio. 'The Colin McLean Latin Trio' perform a mix of South American and Spanish guitar music which is influenced by great artists including Rodrigo y Gabriela, Oscar Lopez and Luis Villegas.

Aengus Kirakowski is a Cork-born guitarist and music educator. Beginning his studies at UCC, he then furthered his studies in musical performance at the CIT Cork School of Music. Aengus has participated in master classes with international names such as Johann Fostier, Remi Boucher, Xuefei Yang and Arturo Tallini in various locations around the world.

After spending a year at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, studying with Estonian virtuoso Heiki Matlik, Aengus then completed his studies with Jerry Creedon in Cork. As a classical guitarist Aengus has performed at the RDS, as well as Musgrave Park, the City Hall, and participated in the Cork Jazz Festival. However, Aengus has also presented his views on the current state of music and education to the International Society for Music Education, as well as to the Society for Music Education in Ireland.

Recently awarded an MA in Digital Arts and Humanities at UCC for his research into music education, Aengus is also currently involved in various outreach projects involving other art forms - collaborating on soundtracks for up-and-coming podcasts, as well as performing his own arrangements of Irish traditional melodies and songs for The Music and Poetry of 1916.

Saturday 5th August 2017
The Ensemble Dagda


Giovanni Felice Sances - 'Accenti queruli' from Cantade, Libro II
Michel Farinel - Divisions on Mr. Faronell's Ground
Henry Purcell - The Plainte 'O let me weep' from The Fairy Queen
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer - Sonata Quarta from Sonatae Unarum Fidium
Heinrich Biber - Passacaglia from the Mystery Sonatas (for solo cello)
Barbara Strozzi - L'eraclito Amoroso
Antonio Bertali - Ciaccona
Encore: Divisions on Greensleeves to a Ground from John Walsh's The Division Flute

Bringing seventeenth century music to vibrant life in the twenty-first century, Ireland’s newest and coolest period instrument band, Ensemble Dagda was formed in 2014 by Caitríona and Norah. Its members have been brought together by a mutual love of Hipster food, early music, cups of tea, knitting and a desire to bring to life lesser heard works of the baroque era. Ensemble Dagda is comprised of young Irish musicians who have studied in countries including Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and the U.K. Core members include Artistic Director and Baroque Violinist Caitríona O'Mahony, Soprano Emma Power, Harpsichordist Kieran Finnegan and Managing Director and Baroque Cellist Norah O'Leary.

Ensemble Dagda has been invited to play in varying incarnations in the West Cork Chamber Music Festival and East Cork Early Music Festival, as well as the Kaleidoscope Night concert series in Dublin and Encanto Salon Series in Helsinki. They have given very well-received concerts around Cork County, focusing on seventeenth century repertoire and works by women composers. Their particular love, highlighted by their tagline ‘ An áit a bhfuil do chroí is ann a thabharfas do chosa thú ’ (your feet will bring you to where your heart is) is in bringing concerts to venues outside major city-venues in varying places around the Irish countryside, from newly built arts centres to some of Ireland’s most historic and atmospheric churches.

The ensemble are passionate about education and making music accessible and engaging to everyone; they were recently granted sponsorship by Cork County Council and enabled by West Cork Music to bring workshops to primary and secondary schools around Cork city and county, introducing students to historical instruments, and the style and contexts of music they play.

They take their name from Irish mythology, and were inspired by the magical harp which was played by Dagda, the king of the Tuatha de Danann.

Thursday 10th August 2017, 8 pm
Jessie Kennedy and Friends

A Concert in Two Parts.
Jessie will be joined by very special guests Maurice Seezer, Patsy Puttnam, members of The Vespertine Quintet and more friends.
PART ONE will feature music from Jessie's solo albums and other works.
PART TWO will be dedicated to selected pieces from her acclaimed album The Carbery Songs.

“The celebration of the women and their Freke-Carbery world is beautiful. From the haunting strings of the Overture to the lines from the past recited in the farewell preceding the epilogue, The Carbery Songs is remarkable.”

Professor Raymond Anselement, editor of “The Remembrances of Elizabeth Freke”, on The Carbery Songs.

“Stirring and poignant songs and compositions, sounds unfurling through the simplicity of the Cathedral. Extracts from the books read by Patsy Puttnam … violins and cello, guitars, drum, piano and harmony voices … an amazing event.” (Jasper Wynn, journalist and author.)

“Astonishing” ... (Marty Whelan, RTE Lyric FM)
“A very fine album indeed” … (Blue of The Night, RTE Lyric FM)
“Like a Fellini Movie”... (acclaimed Irish songwriter Jimmy McCarthy)

Jessie Kennedy is a vocalist, composer and musician from West Cork. At age eight Jessie was given her first guitar by Irish songwriter Jimmy McCarthy, as well as playing trad on Nigel Kennedy’s Stradivarius! She has been immersed in the best of Irish contemporary music for many years, and has two successful solo albums under her belt.

Jessie’s 'THE CARBERY SONGS' album was released in July 2015 to great acclaim, with performances at Rosscarbery Cathedral and also at National Digital Week in West Cork. Jessie was joined by very special guests on stage, including legendary songwriter Donovan, (who wrote a song with Jessie on the album) and Patsy Puttnam, who reads from Mary Carbery's Journals on the album. The album was produced by West Cork composer and baroque violinist Justin Grounds.

‘The Carbery Songs’ was inspired by the lives of three women in the historic Carbery Family of Castle Freke, spanning 300 years, in West Cork, near Jessie's home. During these recordings Jessie had the opportunity to play in Castle Freke itself for a select audience of historians, at the invitation of the Evans-Freke family. Jessie also unearthed lost music composed by the writer Lady Mary Carbery, of the Castle, which had not been heard for 100 years. Some of this 'lost' music was re-worked with string quartet for 'The Carbery Songs' album.

A violinist and vocalist with The Vespertine Quintet, Jessie has performed and collaborated with many artists including Donovan, Interference, Liam O’Maonlai and Maria Doyle Kennedy, as well as film composers Maurice Seezer and Sacha Puttnam.

Upcoming releases in 2017 include an EP with composer and collaborator Justin Grounds, featuring a combination of both Irish traditional and original pieces, by the duo.

Jessie recently narrated and provided the soundtrack for National Geographic’s film on the Wild Atlantic Way, which was released worldwide in 2016.

Songs from The Carbery Songs have also been featured on Rachel Allen’s Coastal TV Series, and John Creedon’s Wild Atlantic Way series for RTE television.

Saturday 19th August 2017, 4 pm
Children-youth choir «Stavros» was founded in 2014 among the famous groups of Samara region:
- The choir «Ladya»,
- Vocal ensemble «Melody»,
- Musical school 4 under name of V.M. Sverdlov,
- Children choir of Orthodox Classic Gymnasium Togliatti Samara region, Russia.

Among these choral groups the Composite choir in 2016 got the name «Stavros» per blessing of Samara and Syzran Archbishop Sergey, as children-youth choir of Samara eparchy to participate in festive divine-services of Togliatti.
The total choir staff is 100 people in the age from 9 till 25.
In December 2015, the choir performed in Germany (Hamburg, Lubeck, Bremen).

The choir «Stavros» was Prizewinner of 2nd grade of Premiere All-Russian competition of choirs «Globus Cantata» Sochi» March 2016 and III All-Russian choral competition «Christmas Expectation» Moscow  December 2016.

«Stavros» has three children-youth groups, students and graduates of Musical school 4 under name of V.. Sverdlov, each having its own repertoire.

Since 2014 the choir is collaborating with symphonic orchestra of Togliatti Philharmonic Hall. Together with the orchestra and students choir «Resonans» Samara Culture Institute, municipal choir «Aura» performed «Requiem» Mozart, Fantasy c-moll Beethoven, Mess Schubert g-moll, 9th symphony Beethoven.

Since May 2016 the choir is taking participation in festive morning and evening bishopric services of Preobrazhensky cathedral Togliatti.
The choir conductor is honoured worker of culture of Russia Galina Devyatkina, accompanist Olga Levkina, choirmasters: Marina Zabolkina, Andrey Konovalov, soloists: Nikita Lysko, Svetlana Kolchanova, Elena Konovalova, Semen Antipenko.



- email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or textmessage to +353 (0)86 226 4797
- by telephone from Sunday 9th July at +353 (0)28 33752 or +353 (0)86 226 4797
Payment in advance by cheque only.
Pay: St. Barrahane’s Church Music Festival (No Credit Cards).
Send to: Jacqueline Weij, Myross Cottage 747, Union Hall, Co. Cork, P81 NY95, Ireland.

Ticket Sales Only:
Thornhill Electrical, Skibbereen, (028-22557)


 The Festival is kindly supported by:

Cork County Council

Jeffers of Bandon

Field's SuperValu

Music Network

Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre


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