Roscommon International Reunion celebrates the life and music of Percy French

Roscommon International Reunion 2012 is a celebration of Roscommon people around the globe.

As part of these celebrations the Percy French Quartet will perform at Roscommon Arts Centre on Friday August 10 at 8pm.

Tickets for this performance are €12 and available through Roscommon Arts Centre’s box office on (090 ) 6625824 or online at www.roscommonartscentre.ie The associations have been great ambassadors for County Roscommon and the international reunion brings them all together for a week of celebration, enjoyment, and remembrance. The Roscommon associations create a sense of belonging and identity for people away from their home county and their work is valued.

Percy French, writer, artist, and performer was born at Cloonyquin House, near Elphin, County Roscommon, the son of a Protestant landlord. He wrote his first successful song while studying civil engineering at Trinity College Dublin (TCD ) in 1877. The song ‘Abdul Abulbul Amir’ was sold for £5 to an unscrupulous publisher. Percy became renowned for composing and singing comic songs and gained considerable distinction with such songs as ‘Phil the Fluther’s Ball’, ‘Slattery’s Mounted Foot’, ‘The Mountains of Mourne’, and ‘Are You Right there Mic’. After his first wife Ettie died in childbirth, Percy French married his second wife Helen (Lennie ) Sheldon of Burmington House, England in 1894. Percy took ill while performing in Glasgow and died some days later (from pneumonia ) in Formby near Liverpool at the home of his cousin on January 24, 1920, aged 65.

This evening of music by the Percy French Quartet celebrates one of Roscommon’s celebrated musical sons and will be an unmissable night.

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