Hi all. Gosh, it’s been a while since we last tumblr’ed. Been a busy few weeks since the official end of summer. Don’t forget we are singing in Liverpool”s Metropolitan Cathedral on 16th Nov for JOSPICE and then on 30th Nov in Guernsey with the delightful Ruth McGinley as our accompanist. December concerts include Dublin (3rd in the National Concert Hall), Toronto (6th) and Windsor (7th), Derry’s Millennium Theatre (21st) and Belfast’s Waterfront Hall (22nd).
Cork concert in The Church of Our Lady Crowned on 18th July is SOLD OUT. We’re looking forward to joining the parishioners of the Parish to celebrate the Golden Anniversary of the building of their Church. If you miss this concert remember we are singing on 3rd August at Our Lady’s Island, Wexford.
We’ve had a great visit to Milano for the 14th centenary of the arrival here of St Columbanus who set out from Bangor, N Ireland on a journey that would take him and his fellow monks into France and Italy. We were accompanied by the Orchestra da camera Milano Classica, directed by Michele Fedrigotti and by the Coro Cantua Januae led by Luca Dellacasa. Gianluca Capuano, the Artistic director of Milano Classica oversaw the arrangements for the concert at the request of Mauro Steffenini, President of the Association of Friends of San Colombano for Europe. The Church of San Marco hosted the event which, despite the European Cup Final the same evening, attracted a fully seated audience who had bought tickets in advance. The hour long concert included an Italian version of “You Raise me up”…. “Mi porterai piu su delle montagne” specifically given to us by Brendan Graham who co-wrote the song with Ralf Loveland.
This is a wonderful city to visit and it was even more wonderful to sing here. Our Bishop, Noel Treanor came as did Fr Joseph Gunn, PP of Bangor, Fr Joe Glover, Fr Joe Rooney, Mons Macauley, Rev Ronnie Nesbitt (Church of Ireland rector of Bangor Abbey) and pilgrims from Luxeuil in France and St Gallen in Switzerland. Cardinal Angelo Scola celebrated the Solemn Mass on Sunday, at which we sang the Caesar Frank Panis Angelicus.
Mozart lodged at the monastery at San Marco when he visited Milano and Luther, it is believed, lodged with the then resident Augustinian community en route to Rome before his rupture with the Catholic Church. There is still a tree in existence from his time growing in the monastery garden.
The relics of San Columbano arrived first at the Church of San Ambrogio on Saturday evening where Mass was celebrated by Mons Eminio de Scalzi with us, Bishop Treanor and the Abbot of Bobbio concelebrating. The relics moved to San Simpliciano on Sunday morning before their transfer to San Marco prior to Mass on Sunday evening.
We were free on Monday and made a short trip to Lake Como for the day. Today we were treated to a guided tour of the cloisters of San Simpliciano and the fabulous Church of St Maurizio by Gianluca Capuano. Our sincere thanks go to all who made our trip so enjoyable not forgetting Nicola and Sergio who made practical arrangements for us on the ground. Would recommend Hotel Ritter on the Corso Garibaldi when you visit Milan.
We’re in Milan this weekend just as Italy play Spain in the European Cup Final….it will be a hard choice for fans of music and football. Having a rehearsal tomorrow with the ensemble and the choir….should be great. The Church of San Marco in Milan is out of this world….as you would expect! Many people expected for this event with colleagues travelling from Ireland to honour St Columbanus who arrived here from Ireland 1400 yrs ago….that’s not today nor yesterday!