Annual Samaritan Christmas Concert in its 24th year

The Samaritans are delighted to have the support of the Army Band in presenting the 24th annual Samaritan Concert.

This year the band have a new conductor, Captain John Carpenter, who is a native of Australia. Captain Carpenter was born to Irish parents who emigrated from Meath and Donegal in 1972. He joined the Defence Forces School of Music in 2012 as a trombonist with Band 2 Bde in Athlone. In September 2014, he was commissioned into the rank of Captain and took up his first appointment as Conductor Band 2 Bde in January 2015.

Before joining the Irish Defence Force, Captain Carpenter graduated with a Bachelor in Music Performance at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, and was a known instrumental instructor, conductor, and performer within Brisbane, Australia. Since moving to Ireland he has become heavily involved with many community ensembles around the country, offering his skills as an arranger and workshop specialist.

The Army Band has been stationed at Custume Barracks since 1936 and performs a wide range of military, State, and civilian engagements each year. It is recognised as being an integral part of the cultural life of the town. The Samaritans 24th Annual Christmas Festival Concert will be held in the Franciscan Friary Church, Athlone, on Thursday, December 10, at 8pm.

It will feature the Army Band of the 2nd Brigade, tenor David Martin, and the Athlone Pipe Band. The compere on the night will be RTÉ's Cathal Murray.

Tickets cost €12 and are available at usual outlets. The Samaritans can be contacted on Freephone 116 123, 24 hours a day, for anyone who is troubled, despairing, or just needs to talk to someone in confidence. People can also email [email protected].

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