An evening of wonderful music performed to a full house in the splendid main hall of the University of Ulster at Jordanstown was held on Saturday 19th April 2008. The concert featured the Abbey Singers, under their conductor, Brian Agus along with accompanist, Donald Blair, with guest artistes, international singing star, Eugene O’Hagan (Tenor) with his accompanist Daniel O’Neill and the band under conductor, Des Graham.
The Abbey Singers
The Abbey Singers have performed all over Ireland and is now in it’s 38th year and it’s repertoire includes sacred and secular music, serious and light, old and new, straightforward and more challenging from near and far. Conductor Brian Agus, now in his 4th season with the Abbey Singers, however, has almost a lifetime’s experience having first been appointed choirmaster, at the age of 23, of a church in his native West Yorkshire. Originally a school teacher, he came to Northern Ireland to join the teaching staff of the Belfast School of Music, where he was the first head of singing and from where he conducted choirs from school level upwards, including the Belfast Chorale in the choir of the year competition televised nationwide on BBC2. From 1993 he was Director of Music Services for the South Eastern Education and Library Board, until his early retirement in 2004. His choir training is informed by his considerable early experience as a tenor soloist. He is an occasional organist in his local church, has adjudicated all over Ireland and examines regularly for the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. In the summer he umpires cricket.
Eugene O’Hagan – Tenor
After several years of study with the late Frank Capper (Belfast) and maestro Sergio Ballani (Rome), guest soloist, tenor Eugene O’Hagan has become a well known exponent of oratorio and art song and is no stranger to concert and opera-going audiences in Belfast and Dublin. He counts most of the mainstream oratorio roles in his repertoire. More recent platform performances include the title role in Bizet’s early opera “Dr Miracle” with Castleward Opera and Dublin based Lyric Opera’s production of “La Traviata”. Future engagements include “Carmina Burana” in Dublin and a Lyric Opera production of “The Magic Flute”.
Third Carrickfergus Band
The band, fresh from their recent success in competition, were featured in 3 spots in the programme and performed a varied and entertaining selection of music which was well received by the audience. The music played by the band is noted below:
No 1 Spot
March: The Champions – Major G H Willcox
Cornet solo: Lazy River – Hoagey Carmichael arr. Alan Morrison – Soloist: Ruth Montgomery
A String of Pearls – Gerry Gray
No 2 Spot
Introduction to Act III “Lohengrin” – Richard Wagner arr. Dr. Denis Wright
Flugel Horn Solo: Magh Seola – Gerard Fahey arr. Sandy Smith – Soloist: Ruth Binding
Oklahoma – Richard Rodgers arr. Alan Catherall
No 3 Spot
Cornet Trio: Trumpets Wild – Harold Walters
Horn Solo: Somewhere Over A Rainbow – Arlen/Harburg arr. Goff Richards – Soloist Michael Montgomery
And The Band Played On – Ward/Palmer arr. Goff Richards
The band would like to thank the Abbey Singers for the invitation to play at this prestigious concert and send our best wishes for the future.