Frank Naughton’s Yuletide Serenade

GALWAY TENOR Frank Naughton is doing his bit to spread some Christmas cheer and festive atmosphere with a concert of seasonal songs in the setting of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church on Friday December 18, entitled Yuletide Serenade.

Joining Frank on the night are the Galway Boy Singers, directed by Mark Keane, and special guest Delia Boyce, soprano. Musical director is virtuoso pianist Morgan Cooke.

Speaking ahead of the concert, Frank first reflected on how the past year has gone for him.

“2009 was great singing-wise,” he declares. “As well as my regular work as a wedding singer, which I love doing, I had the privilege of performing at the opening ceremony of the Volvo Ocean Race with the Galway Tenors - myself, Sean Costello, and James Murphy.

“We came into the docks atop the big swan they had which was kind of nerve-racking! I’d actually broken my shoulder two months before it and because of that we thought we wouldn’t be able to do it but that spurred me on to work hard to be able to do the show so that I could go up the ladder onto the swan.

“I was also involved in the Manuela Riedo concert and that was very good, I met her parents, they are lovely people. That night myself and Sean Costello performed together and we’ve gone on since then to perform as Duo Voce from that. So it’s been a good year all in all.”

And so to Yuletide Serenade, which will be Frank’s first Christmas-themed concert - although it is something he has been wanting to do for a while.

“I’ve been waiting for the date of December 18 to be available now for a few years and now it’s finally happened,” he discloses. “I think St Nicholas’s is a lovely venue. On the night I’ll be joined by Delia Boyce and the Galway Boy Choir. We’re going to open the show with their rendition of ‘The Little Drummer Boy’.

“We’ll also have the Galway Gospel Choir. They’re usually under the direction of Ann Michel Durham but she is on maternity leave at the moment so my musical director Morgan Cooke is directing them as well.

“I’ll be singing with both groups and with Delia. We have a lovely line up of music, we’ll be doing things like ‘Come All Ye Faithful’, ‘Silent Night’, ‘The First Noel’, as well as firm favourites like ‘The Prayer’ and ‘Time To Say Goodbye’. I might even do ‘White Christmas’!”

Frank also reveals that next year he is planning to bring out a CD of Christmas songs, which will also be titled Yuletide Serenade. “I’ve already been doing a lot of work on that,” he says, “and the concert is kind of a precursor to the album.”

The Yuletide Serenade concert promises to be a very special evening and a highlight of the Christmas music season. Tickets are €20/15 from Zhivago Records, Shop Street, on 091 - 509960. There will also be a limited number of tickets on the door.

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