Tuesday, June 29, 2010

WWC performs at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Dublin on Tuesday, June 29, at 7.30 pm - Finale highlight concert!

The beautiful church of St Bartholomew's, Clyde Road (Dublin), was consecrated in 1867. Many of its original features are intact, such as the sanctuary mosaics and the elaborate wrought iron choir screen. The architect was Thomas Wyat. On June 29 at 7.30 pm, St. Bartholomew's church is going to be the finale highlight concert venue for the Washington Women's Chorus.
The church is celebrated for its fine music. The choir of boys and men, the only remaining all-male parish church choir in the country, generally sings at least one of the choral services each Sunday during term-time. The remainder are sung by the girls’ choir (formed five years ago and now playing an increasingly prominent role in the church’s regular worship as well as undertaking a program of regular concerts and joint events around the city and country), the Elgin Chorale (which sings during choir vacations) and the newly formed chamber choir the Clyde Chorale. The choirs’ repertoire is fully representative of the major styles of choral music from the sixteenth century up to the present day. With its superb acoustic, splendid organ and convenient location, Saint Bartholomew’s is becoming more widely known as an excellent concert venue.
The organ was built in 1887 by Gray & Davison. Rebuilt in 1925, it was then left largely unaltered until 1963 when another firm, J. W. Walker & Sons Ltd, undertook a major restoration. The organ was last rebuilt by Trevor Crowe of Dublin in 2002. The first radio broadcast of an organ recital at the church was made in 1935.

Monday, June 28, 2010

WWC concertizes at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin on Monday, June 28 at 1 pm

The Washington Women's Chorus will sing twice in the Irish capital to conclude its 2010 Ireland Performance Tour. The first of two Dublin concerts is at beautiful St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, the largest church in Ireland, on Monday, June 28 at 1 pm.
Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts on his visit to Dublin. A church was built on this site in 1191 and in 1991 they celebrated 800 years of worship. The present building dates from 1220 and during the years it had been extended again and again.
The Cathedral is today the National Cathedral for the Church of Ireland (Anglican). The basis of the present building was built between 1191 and 1270, though little now remains of the earliest work beyond the Baptistry. Much of the work was overseen by Henry of London, a friend of the King of England and signatory of the Magna Carta, who was also involved in the construction of Dublin's city walls and Dublin Castle. The tower (Minot's Tower) and west nave were rebuilt between 1362 and 1370, following a fire. In 1560, one of Dublin's first public clocks was erected in "St. Patrick's Steeple".
Throughout its long history the cathedral has contributed much to Irish life, and one key aspect of this relates to the writer and satirist Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, who was Dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745. Swift took a great interest in the building, its services and music and in what would now be called social welfare, funding an almshouse for poor women and Saint Patrick's Hospital.
The Choir School, which had been founded in 1432, supplied many of its members to take part in the very first performance of Handel's Messiah in 1742. It continues and although originally all-male, now also admits girls; a Cathedral Girls' Choir was founded in 2000 and sings once or twice a week. The Organ of St. Patrick's Cathedral is one of the largest in Ireland with over 4,000 pipes. Parts of it date from a Renatus Harris instrument of 1695. It was restored in the 1890s and in 1963.

Home away from Home on June 27, 28 & 29: Jurys Inn Christchurch Hotel in Dublin

The Washington Women's Chorus will be staying at the Jurys Inn Christchurch Hotel during their time in Dublin. Located in Dublin's oldest quarter, directly opposite the historical Christchurch Cathedral, Jurys Inn is just a two minutes walk from Temple Bar, St Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College and fashionable Grafton Street. Jurys Inn hotel in Christchurch is a non-smoking hotel. There are 182 newly refurbished bedrooms in total. The rooms offer high speed internet access and a hair dryer in the bathroom.

Welcome to Dublin!

Dublin is the largest city and capital of Ireland. It is officially known in Irish as Baile Átha Cliath; the English name comes from the Irish Dubh Linn meaning "black pool". It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island's primary city following the Norman invasion. Today, it is ranked 23rd in the Global Financial Centres Index, has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city, and is as a global city, with a ranking of Alpha - which places Dublin amongst the top 25 cities in the world. Dublin is a historical and contemporary cultural centre for the island of Ireland as well as a modern centre of education, the arts, administrative function, economy and industry.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Impressions from the Cork Mass & Concert

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Cork concert venue for WWC on Saturday, June 26, at 7.30 pm: St. Augustine’s Church

On Saturday, June 26, at 7.30 pm the Washington Women's Chorus sings at St. Augustine’s Church in Cork. The Augustinians, the Order of St. Augustine, owe their origins to Saint Augustine (354-430 AD), from Hippo in Algeria, who inspired men and women to live in religious communities.
By the 13th century many different Augustinian communities existed and in 1256 Pope Alexander IV created the Grand Union of all existing Augustinian Congregations to form what we know today as the Order of St. Augustine.
The Order of St. Augustine came to Cork some time between 1270 and 1300. As the Augustinian historian, Fr. Thomas C. Butler OSA writes: "If we take 1272 as a date of petition for approval to open a foundation in Cork, it would have taken some years for the planning and building so we can safely assume that the latter took place between 1275 and 1285.
The Priory was dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity, but was recorded on ancient maps as St. Austin's 1545 and St. Augustine's 1610. Later still it became known as the "Red Abbey" because of the red sandstone used in the church. The Towers were added after the middle of the 14th century.
The Red Abbey was raided in 1630, but the friars, forewarned, had fled. This was a short lived closure and the friars were back again, until 1644 when all priests and friars were expelled from the city, and the Red Abbey was taken over by the protestant Dean of Cork, Richard Boyle.Lady Fanshawe leased the Red Abbey, but had to leave when Cromwell came in 1649, and stabled his horses in the building.
Returns on the State of Popery for 1766 give "a friary - Augustinian - in Fishamble Lane. It was located where a side entrance leads into the Franciscan church. Formerly Mill St, the site of the church is shown on De Rocque's map of 1759.
In 1776 the friars were living in an old tottering house, with an old tottering chapel nearby. They started to look for a suitable site and ran into difficulty with the bishop of Cork. The friary in Fishamble Lane was in the parish of St. Finbar's, and the new site was in SS Peter and Paul's.In 1778 the Augustinians chose a site on Brunswick St, at the time within the South Parish. Again the Bishop objected, but the Augustinians decided to go ahead with a chapel and dwelling in Brunswick St. now known as St. Augustine's Lane. The community was suspended by the Bishop. The case was taken to Rome.
A decision was given in favour of the friars, with a command to the bishop to bless and open the church when completed. The first stone was laid on November 27th 1780. The Bishop complied with the mandate from the Holy See, and he blessed the new church on June 4th 1781, and he restored the Prior and community to the jurisdiction of the diocese.
The church was extended in 1872 and the Priory built on Washington St, known then as Great George St. The present church structure was built in 1942 and furthered extended in 1972. The Priory was rebuilt in 1982.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Next Stop on the WWC Itinerary: Cork

The Washington Womens's Chorus will enjoy some days in the Irish city of Cork with Incantato Tours. Let's have a closer look at this destination:

Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,143, while the addition of the suburban areas contained the county brings the total to 190,384. Cork has a reputation for rebelliousness dating back to the town's support of the English Pretender Perkin Warbeck in 1491 following the Wars of the Roses. As a result, County Cork has earned the nickname of "the Rebel County", while Corkonians often refer to the city as the "real capital of Ireland", and themselves as the "Rebels". The city is built on the River Lee which divides into two channels at the western end of the city. The city centre is located on the island created by the channels. At the eastern end of the city centre they converge; and the Lee flows around Lough Mahon to Cork Harbour, one of the world's largest natural harbours. The city is a major Irish seaport; there are quays and docks along the banks of the Lee on the city's east side.
Music, theatre, dance, film and poetry all play a prominent role in Cork city life. The Cork School of Music and the Crawford College of Art and Design provide a constant throughput of new blood, as do the active theatre components of many courses at University College Cork (UCC). Highlights include: Corcadorca Theatre Company, of which Cillian Murphy was a troupe member prior to Hollywood fame; Cork Film Festival, a major supporter of the art of the short film; The Institute for Choreography and Dance, a national contemporary dance resource; the Triskel Arts Centre; Cork Jazz Festival; the Cork Academy of Dramatic Art (CADA).

St. Mary's Church of Ireland: WWC concert venue on June 24

Incantato proudly presents your performance venue for Thursday, June 24 at 8 pm: St. Mary’s Church of Ireland in Killarney.

St. Mary’s Church of Ireland in Killarney is a Roman Catholic cathedral in County Kerry, Republic of Ireland. The diocese of Kerry, or Ardfert and Ahadoe as it is sometimes called, was ruled by vicars apostolic from the mid-16th century until the early 18th century, with the exception of a brief few years in the 1640s. The 18th century Bishops of Kerry resided at Dingle, Kilcummin, Tuogh, Listowel and Tralee, from 1720 until 1775. In the latter years Bishop Francis Moylan (1775-87) established the see at Killarney.
Before the construction of Killarney cathedral there was a small chapel in Chapel Lane, of which the font survives in the baptistery of the present cathedral. The idea of building a cathedral was started by Fr. Joseph O'Sullivan, curate of Dingle, who roused the enthusiasm of Bishop Cornelius Egan (1824-1856) and the 2nd Earl of Kenmare (1788-1853), a local Catholic landowner.

Today's (June 24) Sightseeing-Highlight: The Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a trail in County Kerry, south-western Ireland. The route covers the 179 km (111 miles) circular road, starting from Killarney, heading around the Iveragh Peninsula and passing through Kenmare, Sneem, Waterville, Cahersiveen and Killorglin. Popular points include Muckross House (near Killarney), Staigue stone fort and Derrynane House, home of Daniel O'Connell. Just south of Killarney, Ross Castle, Lough Leane, and Ladies View (a panoramic viewpoint), all located within Killarney National Park, are major attractions located along the Ring. The picture is from the official website of the trail.

WWC in Dublin - Announcement on the internet

Click here to go to the website

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

News from the WWC Travelers

The Washington Women's Chorus is having a marvelous time in Ireland, their tour manager Eammon just reported over the phone. The singers are on their way to the Danny Mann Pub and are looking forward to a performance and dinner. The Incantato Tours Team wishes WWC a wonderful evening!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Washington Women's Chorus performs at the Danny Mann Pub in Killarney on Wednesday, June 23, at 7 pm

On Wednesday, June 23, at 7 pm, the Danny Mann Pub in Killarney will turn into a performance venue for the WWC travelers under the direction of Donald P. Richardson. Incantato Tours proudly presents this very special and traditional venue: The Danny Mann is a hotel pub that is renowned as one of the best centers for Irish music, singing and dancing in all of Killarney. Here you will find locals and visitors alike joining with the band to sing together. The Danny Mann Pub has brought traditional Irish music and good times to Killarney for over 70 years.
After the concert the WWC travelers enjoy dinner at the pub. On the menu (to choose from):
- Chefs Cream of Potato and Leek Soup
- Breaded Mushrooms with Parsley and Garlic Mayonnaise
Main course:
- Roast Topside of Irish Beef, Red Wine Gravy
- Baked Darne of Kenmare Bay Salmon, Prawn and Saffron Cream
- Pan-seared Chicken Supreme, Smoked Bacon and Mushroom Sauce
-Warm Apple Crumble with Custard
- Baileys Cheesecake, Butterscotch Sauce

Welcome to Killarney!

Killarney (from the Irish: "Cill Airne" meaning "church of sloes") is a town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland, and the next stop on the WWC itinerary. The town is located north of the MacGillicuddy Reeks, on the northeastern shore of the Lough Lein/Leane which are part of Killarney National Park. The town and its surrounding region are home to St. Mary's Cathedral, Ross Castle, Muckross Abbey, Lakes of Killarney, Torc Waterfall and Gap of Dunloe. Killarney was awarded the "Best Kept Town" award for 2007 in a cross-border competition jointly organised by the Department of the Environment and the Northern Ireland Amenity Council. Owing to its natural heritage, history and proximity to the Dingle Peninsula, Skellig Michael island and its location on the Ring of Kerry, Killarney is a popular tourist destination.
"There's only the one Killarney" is a song that was recorded by Irish tenor, Patrich O'Hagan. The song was written by Irish songwriter, Dick Farrelly, who wrote the words & music. Killarney appears in another song, titled, "How Can you buy Killarney", written by Kennedy, Steels, Grant and Morrison, the song was recorded by Joseph Locke among others.

Sightseeing-Highlight on Wednesday, June 23: The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are located in the parish of Liscannor at the south-western edge of the Burren area near Doolin, which is located in County Clare, Ireland. The Cliffs are currently one of the 28 finalists for The New-7-Wonders of Nature. The cliffs rise 120 meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O'Brien's Tower, eight kilometres away. The cliffs have one of Ireland's most spectacular views. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay, as are the valleys and hills of Connemara. O'Brien's Tower is a round stone tower at the approximate midpoint of the cliffs. It was built by Sir Cornelius O'Brien, a descendant of Ireland's High King Brian Boru, in order to impress female visitors. From atop that watchtower, one can view the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, the Maum Turk Mountains and the Twelve Pins to the north in Connemara, and Loop Head to the south.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Washington Women's Chorus sings at the Franciscan Abbey in Galway on Tuesday, June 22, at 7.30 pm - Exchange Concert!

The travelers of WWC get ready for their exchange concert in Galway tonight, June 22, at 7.30 pm with the Galway Gospel Choir. To learn more about the choir, please click here.
The Franciscan Abbey was founded in 1296. In 1483 a school of advanced theology was instituted there. About 40 years later, Maurice O Fihely, archbishop of Tuam, was buried in the church. 1657 the friary was destroyed and the church was made into a court house (the present court house stands on the same site). In 1660 a church was erected on the present site. The only novitiate of which they have definite information was opened here in 1774. The church was rebuilt in 1781 and around 1836 the present church was opened; present friary was built or rebuilt in 1820, and renovated recently. The organ of the Abbey, Galway, is placed in the gallery at the back of the church, and is divided between two cases to avoid obscuring a large stained-glass window in the centre. The swell and pedal divisions are located in the left case (as seen from the church, facing the back) and the great in the right. The console is beside the left case, and faces sideways across the rather narrow gallery. The instrument has a pleasant, sweet sound with good definition and a fast, ready response from the action. The picture is from the official website of the Irish Franciscans.

WWC presents first formal concert at The Gothic Church at Kylemore Abbey on Tuesday, June 22, at noon

On Tuesday, June 22, the Washington Women's Chorus, under the direction of Don Richardson, will kick off their 2010 Ireland Performance Tour with a lunch time concert presented at noon at the Gothic Church at Kylemore Abbey, the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys.

Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I. Originally called Kylemore Castle, it was built between 1863 and 1868 as a private home for the family of Mitchell Henry, a wealthy politician from Manchester, England who was also MP for Galway County from 1871 to 1885. Architects were James Franklin Fuller and Ussher Roberts. After the death of his wife Margaret in 1875, Mitchell did not spend much time there. He and his wife are both buried in the small mausoleum near the church in the grounds of the abbey.
A notable feature of the abbey is the neo-Gothic church, a miniature replica of Norwich Cathedral, made from local green Connemara marble. It was built between 1877 and 1881 and has a beautiful stained glass tracery window depicts the five graces; Fortitude, Faith, Charity, Hope and Chastity, and it is a center of reflection and prayer for many visitors.

Welcome to Galway!

Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) is the third largest and the fastest-growing city in Ireland and the only city in the province of Connacht. It is located on the west coast of Ireland.
In Irish, Galway is also called Cathair na Gaillimhe (City of Galway).
The population of Galway city is approximately 72,400. Approximately 78 per cent of the population of Galway is white Irish, descended from native Gaelic peoples and Norman settlers. A further 5 per cent are foreign-born Irish. Following an influx of immigrants to Galway during the 2000s, as Europe's fastest growing city of its size, approximately 17 per cent of the population is today non-Irish.
Galway is nicknamed Ireland's Cultural Heart and is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events. Every July, Galway hosts the Galway Arts Festival which is known for its famous Macnas parade.
Galway city has a reputation amongst Irish cities for being associated with the Irish language, music, song and dancing traditions - it is sometimes referred to as the 'Bilingual Capital of Ireland', although like all other cities in the Republic of Ireland, the vast bulk of the city's inhabitants converse mostly in English.

    WWC arrived safe and sound in Ireland

    "We made it and the tour guide is wonderful", is the first news we go via email from Don Richardson, director of the Washington Women's Chorus after the group's arrival in Ireland on Monday morning.

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Wishing you safe travels to Ireland

    Dear Members of the 2010 Washington Women's Chorus Tour to Ireland,
    We wish you safe travels to the emerald isle. Incantato Tour Manager Eammon Broderick will be welcoming everyone on Monday, June 21, at Shannon airport and then bring the group to Galway.
    Enjoy your time in Europe, Your Incantato Tours Team

    Weather Forecast for Galway - Hello sun!

    With the WWC tour to Ireland just around the corner, the Incantato Tours team had a look at the weather forecast for the next few days in Galway, the first stop on the WWC itinerary. On Monday, June 21, it's said to be mostly sunny with around 70°F during the day. The nice weather continues on Tuesday with a partly cloudy sky and 69°F. Perfect temperature for sightseeing!

    WWC Concert Announcements on the Internet

    Dear travelers of the Washington Women's Chorus,
    Incantato Tours already started promoting your concerts and performances in Ireland. Please have a look at these two announcements on the website www.killarney.ie:

    • About your concert at St. Mary's Church of Ireland, click here
    • About your concert at the Danny Mann Pub, click here

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Weather in Ireland

    "The usual way to tell the difference between winter and summer in Ireland is to measure the temperature of the rain", so an Irish saying goes. While it is true that there are no major temperature differences between the seasons and that it rains often, the Irish weather is manageable. Temperatures will rarely go below 32°F and only occasionally above 68°F - with June, July and August being the warmest months. In June it is normally around 48°F (average low) and 60°F (average high) with an average of ten wet days. We recommend to pack clothes that you can layer, a rain jacket and umbrella.

    Incantato Impressions: Recent Tour to Ireland - Grace First Presbyterian Church Choir

    Concert at St. Patrick's Cathedral - Dublin

    Irish way of shopping

    At the Guinness Museum & Storehouse