The Mullingar Choral Society is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the concert Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn at 8pm on Sunday, March 8 in the Cathedral of Christ the King.
The choir was first founded as a concert choir in 1968. Its first public performance was the Fauré Requiem, conducted by Fr Frank McNamara in 1969. In the following years, the membership expanded and the choir performed in Mullingar, Navan, Maynooth and Sligo. Choral festivals (including several prize-winning forays ) followed, in Cork and Wales.
Shane Brennan took over as musical director, and led the choir through the 1980s, continuing its development and widening its repertoire. He was followed, in 1992, by John White, and in the following years, the choir performed Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. The Music Makers by Elgar, Haydn’s Creation, Verdi’s Requiem, The Mass in D by Dvorak, and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. They also participated in the Voices of the World concert in Dublin and in 1996 won the Phillip O’Laoire trophy at the Cork International Choral Festival.
In 1999, the current musical director, Fergus O’Carroll, was appointed, and the society presented Hanel’s Messiah for it’s Millennium concert in 2000. 2001 saw the return of Fauré’s Requiem, along with Rossini’s Stabat Mater, and in 2002 the choir performed a Verdi classics concert. Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana was dusted off for the 2003 concert, along with Mozart’s Coronation Mass. In 2004 the choir presented the Irish Premiere of Otto Ollson’s Requiem with Puccini’s Missa di Gloria. 2005’s concert was a Gilbert & Sullivan Highlights programme, with pieces from HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Gondoliers. In 2006 the choir performed a selection of Opera Classics, and in March 2007 triumphantly repeated Verdi’s Requiem. The Spring 2008 concert was performed in the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar, and marked the first time the choir performed in the National Concert Hall. Hopefully in the future even more success will come their way.