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Thursday, 8th November 2018

A hectic month for composer Michael Holohan

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Composer Michael Holohan. Photo: Andy Spearman.

November is shaping up to be a hectic month for Drogheda’s favourite composer Michael Holohan with never a dull moment.

Following on from a full house and standing ovation in The National Library, Dublin on Sunday last, 4th November, Michael brings his very personal composition ‘Gallipoli, The GPO and Flanders’ back to Meath on Sunday week,  18th November, at 8pm in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland, Trim. Admission to this event is free and sponsored by The Minister for Culture, Heritage and The Gaeltacht (The Decade of Centenaries) , Kilkenny Co. Council and Creative Ireland.

This music theatre piece features the diaries of Michael’s granduncle Seosamh de Brún, who fought with Thomas MacDonagh in 1916 and a British soldier who organised the firing squad for MacDonagh’s execution. Seosamh’s father James was born in Ballivor, Co Meath.  Also featured are the war letters of his two granduncles Thomas and Frank Holohan who were born in Johnswell, Co Kilkenny.

The piece will also be performed on Thursday November 15th in the new Medieval Mile Museum in Kilkenny. The renowned actors Barry McGovern and Donal O’ Kelly will read the letters and diaries and they will be accompanied by the fabulous RTE Contempo String Quartet.

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Admission to the above event is free and sponsored by The Minister for Culture, Heritage and The Gaeltacht (The Decade of Centenaries), Kilkenny Co. Council and Creative Ireland.

Royal Irish Academy

Michael’s piano pieces ‘By a River’ and ‘Byrd in Blue’ have recently been published by The Royal Irish Academy of Music and are now on their National Piano Examination Syllabus for Grade 5 and 7. The composer is delighted that thousands of music students will have the opportunity to choose and play his piece about the River Boyne in their forthcoming piano examinations.

Derry International Choral Festival

Siobhan Seberry and the wonderful Sonata Singers from Drogheda performed Michael’s piece ‘In The Empty Hills’ in the Female voices competition at the recent Derry International Choral Festival. His other choral pieces ‘Bagairt Na Marbh’ and ‘Anahorish’ were performed by Laetare from Dublin and The Allegri Singers from Derry.

Remembrance Ceremony

Drogheda soprano Hannah O’Brien performed Michael’s settings of Francis Ledwidge ‘The Hills’ and ‘A Soldier’s Grave’ on Saturday the third of November at the Drogheda War Memorial at Marys’ St and in the D Hotel last Saturday, as part of  Mayor Godfrey and the Louth County Council’s Remembrance Ceremony of The Centenary of the Armistice 1918-2018.

CD Launch

The new CD, The Road to Lough Swilly and Memorials by Michael will be officially launched on Wednesday 28th November at 8 pm in the Augustinian Church. Performers will include Mick O’ Brien, the acclaimed uilleann piper; Donal O’ Kelly actor and the vibrant Boyne Chamber Orchestra. Music from the CD was performed in St Peter’s Church of Ireland and St Peter’s Catholic Church to great acclaim during the recent Drogheda Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. Admission to the concert and launch is free and there will be a special launch price of €10 euro on the night. A special Christmas present perhaps.

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