Founded in 1993 by Mr. Paschal Gough, the Athlone Choral Society (ACS ) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Based in Athlone, the ACS is an active community choir with over 40 members, including some of its founding members, from Westmeath, Roscommon and across the Midlands. Its first Chairperson was Ms. Brid Downes and since its formation the choir has given two main performances a year, at Christmas and in May, ably guided by distinguished directors, accompanists and invited guests.
Former Musical Directors of the choir include Mr. Walter Hein, Mrs. Marie Power and Sr. Maura Fay, with ormer accompanists including Sr. Agnes Murray, Ms. Annette Kenny, Ms. Hilary Price, Ms. Heather Shine and Mr. Daren Lane.
Past performances with accomplished guests include Haydn 'Te Deum' and Haydn Missa Brevis St Joannis de Deo 'Little Organ Mass' with The Alexandra Quartet from Belfast and Breda O’Conner (Soprano ) Athlone, Faure Requiem with Eoin Leahy (Baritone ) Cork, the Band of the Western Command, Sopranos Niamh Murray, Regina Nathan and Tenor, Tony Norton.
In 2010, the baton passed to Dr. Joe Ryan, under whose guidance the choir flourished. Joined in 2011 by Director Andrius Kozlovski, the Athlone Choral Society went from strength to strength stretching it’s ‘performing grounds’ to Roscommon, Galway, Mayo and Dublin in addition to performing six concerts in Athlone.
Today, the Athlone Choral Society with Andrius at the helm, continues its success with a Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 2 in St Mary’s Church of Ireland, Church Street, Athlone, at 6pm. Our distinguished guests are accomplished pianist Daren Lane, who will announce the ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ and the ‘Lithuania School of Early Music’ featuring the bassoon, an instrument which developed during the Baroque period and is much loved due to the richness of its characteristic gentle and expressive timbre.
As always, enjoy a warming glass of mulled wine at the interval and herald in the Christmas season to the rousing sounds of ‘Gaudete’, be transported to the Swiss mountainsides with Bach’s ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’ and complete the festive experience on the triumphant notes of 'Handel’s Hallelujah'!
Tickets €10, are available from choir members and pre concert on the night.