Mayor of Carlow, Fintan Phelan, and Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council, Brian O’Donoghue, presented choir director Matthew Bishop, with a hamper
By Elizabeth Lee
MUSIC fans had a real treat recently when St Mary’s Church in Haymarket, Carlow played host to a choir from Iowa, USA, which is famous for its gospel and jazz sound.
The First Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir hails from Davenport, which is twinned with Carlow town.
Its members had an inkling of an idea to visit its sister town in Ireland, so they contacted concert promoter Anne Farrelly, who organised the concert.
They performed to a rapt audience in St Mary’s, singing their gospel and jazz-influenced music. The Sanctuary Choir is very well known back in Davenport, offering a variety of great choral music at worship services on Sunday mornings, including the church’s annual jazz liturgy during the Bix Jazz Festival. A new commission by renowned British composer Jonathan Dove was also included in their repertoire in Carlow.
Carlow County Council was notified about the visit and organised a civic reception for the choir. Cathaoirlech Brian O’Donoghue and mayor Fintan Phelan attended the concert before meeting the choir members at the civic reception in Carlow College. The troupe also visited Carlow County Museum and the Visual arts centre.
“They thought that they’d like to visit Carlow and it turned out really well. They had a lovely time, they were thrilled with how it went. They loved meeting the cathaoirleach and the mayor of Carlow and really enjoyed the civic reception. They were delighted with it and felt very welcomed in Carlow,” said Anne.
Proceeds of the unique concert will go towards church funds at St Mary’s.