Suzanne McDonnell at Dundalk IT

I accompanied Suzanne McDonnell today at her mid-term performance exam at Dundalk IT. She did really well and I was happy that we did a good set. She opened with a solo piece by Morton Feldman called ‘Only’ and then I joined her for the rest: Antonio Carlos Jobim’s ‘Chovendo na roseira’, Erykah Badu’s ‘Green Eyes’, and a bluesy original called ‘Play Me’.

The three other students who did their exams today all did great pieces. First up was Cathal Johnston, a trad. harmonica player, who did one of my favourite tunes, O’Carolan’s ‘Sí Bheag, Sí Mhór’, amongst others. Another soprano, Siobhain Murphy, did Sondheim’s ‘Green Finch and Linnet Bird’ – Johanna’s song about captivity from Sweeney Todd – and three of Britten’s ‘Cabaret Songs’ (all settings of Britten’s friend W.H. Auden): ‘Oh tell me the truth about love’, ‘Funeral Blues’, and ‘Johnny’. Finally Mark Nutley did Edward Gregson’s Tuba Concerto which I really enjoyed. A great gig!

I’ve been working on choral pieces which I’ll do a seperate blog post about. My friend Jonny Boyle let me know about an SATB carol competition being judged by Bob Chilcott and James Macmillan. Macmillan is one of my absolute favourite composers, so it would be a real thrill to have him judge something I’d written. The search is on for a Christmas/winter text…

Wind turbine at Dundalk IT - taken with Hipstamatic iPhone app

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