Ballymoney Male Voice Choir concert

Andrea Delaney
Andrea Delaney

The Ballymoney and District Male Voice choir once more will bring a feast of Male Voice Singing to the Town of Ballymoney on Saturday 19th March at 7.30pm.

The long established choir retains its enthusiasm for a wide range of Male Voice singing under their well known and experienced Conductor Margaret Brown of Ballycastle.

Brian McNamee

Brian McNamee

She has brought a life time of Music to the Ballycastle area and beyond and had taught in Ballycastle Primary School for almost 40 years. For a number of years she had been the accompanist to the Male Voice Choir in Ballymoney and also assisted with the choirs of the WI, Young Farmers Clubs and Presbytery, Church and Cross Community choirs.

After retirement she became the Conductor for the Route Singers and since 2008 for the Male Voice choir. She is also accompanist at Coleraine Music Festival and organist in Ramoan and Culfeightrin C of I.Churches. The Male Voice choir is accompanied so expertly as usual, and since 2012 by Amanda Davies of Coleraine. She has been playing the piano since the age of seven and won the Music prize at Coleraine High School at the age of 15 years.

She is renowned as a Music Teacher in the Coleraine district and has been the accompanist to the Route Singers choir for 17 years. Amanda is also the Musical Director in Ballywatt Presbyterian Church where she trains the Church Choir. These two ladies have continued the long history of their predecessors, maintaining such a high level of Musicianship for the men of the Ballymoney.

The Male voice Choir will again perform in the concert this year bringing some old favourites and some new pieces to their audience. Two of the pieces have just been performed last week at the Ballymena Music Festival and they are “March of the Men of Harlech” famous not least for its arrangement in the famous 1964 film “Zulu” and also in the Film “How green was my valley”.

The other piece from the Festival will be “E’en as a lovely flower” by Sir Hugh Roberton. Some of the other choir pieces will include “Close thine eyes” and “The Chorus of the Hebrew slaves” from Nabucco by Guiseppe Verdi.

The special guest Ssloists this year are the Soprano Andrea Delaney and the Tenor Brian McNamee with their accompanist Ben McGonigle.

Andrea Delaney is a versatile soprano from Tandragee in Co. Armagh. She has completed her first young Artist’s programme and performed in four of NI Opera’s productions: Wagner’s “Flying Dutchman”, Verdi’s “Macbeth”, Donizetti’s “Elixir of Love” and Puccini’s “Turandot”

She has toured extensively across the USA, China, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavian countries with both “Celtic Woman” and “Anuna”. She sang at a private concert for HRH Prince Charles and Camilla on their visit to NI at Hillsborough Castle, and an intimate performance for Bono and guests . She has also had sold-out performances on the stages of Radio City hall in New York and the National Concert Hall for the performing arts in Beijing. She is currently a student of Carrickfergus born soprano, Gisellle Allen, and plans to continue her recital work and to apply for a Masters degree in Opera in Autumn of this year.

In the Ballymoney Concert some of the pieces she will sing will include Puccini La Boheme, Mozart and some Irish Melodies.

Brian McNamee is a tenor from Sixmilecross, Co.Tyrone. He graduated with a First Class Hons. Degree from the University of Ulster. He has undertaken numerous roles on the Opera stage, most notably at home with N.I. Opera appearing in the chorus of Puccini’s “Tosca” and Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” as well as playing the role of “Sailor” in Purcell’s “Dido and Aneas” and “Bill” in “A hand of Bridge”.

Oratorio performances have included Handel’s Messiah, requiems by Mozart, Masses by Haydn, Schubert and Beethoven and in June last year he made his debut with The Ulster Orchestra.

Brian has just completed a Master’s degree in vocal performance and Opera at the Northern College of Music, Manchester where he is currently undertaking an advanced Diploma in Opera. Most recently he has sung the role of Sam Kaplan in “Street Scene” by Kurt Weill of which the Manchester Evening News declared Brian had “ a voice that would go on to great things”.

This summer he re-joins the Buxton Festival Chorus to perform operas by Bellini, Beethoven and Handel.

When at home in Northern Ireland Brian is committed to his role of Assistant Musical Director of the Omagh Community Youth Choir, a peace through music project for young people begun in the aftermath of the Omagh Bombing in 1998, running the choir with Musical Director, Daryl Simpson, of the Celtic Tenors.

Ben McGonigle is the accompanist to both soloists. Ben lives in Londonderry and is the organist at Christ Church and is very much in demand as

accompanist in recitals such as this one in Ballymoney.

The Concert commences at 7.30pm on Saturday 19th March and tickets are available from Gault’s Shop in Church Street in Ballymoney or from members of the Male Voice Choir. Part proceeds from this year’s Concert will go to Alzheimer’s Society in the area. This promises to be a memorable evening with the choir emerging form the Music Festival in Ballymena last week with high praise from the Adjudicator, Marilyn Davies from Wales and the prospect of the fresh vocal performances from two talented young soloists.

Members of the audience should please note the different venue this year – because of major renovations and rebuild currently being undertaken at Dalriada School, the concert will take place at The Parish Hall of St Patrick’s Parish Church in Queen Street in Ballymoney, where there is an adequate car park area adjacent.