The programme for the South Roscommon Singers’ Festival 2015 was launched in PJ’s Bar, Castlecoote, recently and once again there is a jam-packed cornucopia of delights in store for aficionados of traditional, old-time, folk and gospel singing.
The festival takes place from Thursday, October 22, to Tuesday, October 27.
The festival, which, once again, extends from Knockcroghery and Lecarrow to Roscommon town and Castlecoote, will feature an array of international acts, as well as the best of the home-grown variety.
Old-time banjoist and balladeer Sara Grey returns from the USA with Kieron Means (guitar and vocals) and Ben Paley (fiddle) to present a ‘Song Talk’ on murder ballads, as well as a couple of concert appearances.
Brigitte and Katelle Kloarag return from Brittany after a long absence, as well as Thomas McCarthy (London), and Chris Miles, Barbara Dymock and Jack and Angela Plunket, from Scotland, and Jim Bainbridge and Nik and Fiona Vickers, from England.
A host of local singers and musicians will also contribute to a series of concerts, song talks and sessions.
One of the main features of the festival will be the opening salvo on Thursday night in Hannon’s Hotel – the Roscommon People-sponsored Annie McNulty Award Presentation Concert.
This involves a showcase of Roscommon musical talent: Gatehouse, featuring John Wynne, John and Jacinta McEvoy and Rachel Garvey; Boyle balladeer and songwriter Donal O’Connor; south Roscommon singers Frank Brennan and Johnny Johnston and storyteller Vincent Pierce (MC).
This year’s guests of honour and recipients of the Annie McNulty Award will be The Grehan Sisters from Boyle.
Also, for the first time there will be a Gospel Concert in St. Coman’s Church of Ireland, Roscommon town, on Saturday night, featuring an array of international acts as they present some amazing and uplifting Gospel songs and Spirituals from the Americana and European traditions.
A fascinating series of ‘Song Talks’ in Murray’s in Knockcroghery will feature strongly all day on Saturday, as well as informal singing and music sessions throughout Knockcroghery and Lecarrow over the weekend.
Watch this space for full details over the coming weeks or check out www.southroscommon.ie where you can download the full programme.