The delivery of a Council supported arts and community outreach programme by the internationally recognised Newry Chamber Music (NCM) will see live music of the highest calibre reaching communities across the City and beyond.
The group’s current season programme is being assisted by a £20,000 funding package from the Council, which has been welcomed by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Michael Savage.
Via its Fews Ensemble, NCM has recently been captivating audiences with a series of concerts at Warrenpoint Town Hall, ranging from music by Mozart and Dvorak and Mendelssohn, to the world premiere of a new piece by acclaimed Newry musician Amy Rooney, and a visit by French concert pianist Philippe Cassard. The group also held their annual Classical Christmas concert in December at Warrenpoint Town Hall with Downpatrick Soprano Mary McCabe ahead of another series of locally based concerts planned for 2023.
This talented group of musicians has been bringing the highest quality professional music concerts to local audiences for over 20 years. Artists that have worked with the group have have included world renowned musicians and actors, and performance settings have gone beyond the concert hall to include care homes, local schools and community centres.
Cllr Savage said the Council had been delighted to offer its support for the season. He said, “Newry Chamber Music (NCM) is one of the district’s most recognised and highly regarded professional music groups, known throughout the island of Ireland and internationally. Newry Chamber Music and its Fews Ensemble is made up of top musicians and artists from the UK, Ireland and Europe, many of whom deliver masterclasses and lessons to young musicians when they are in the area.
“Our support of NCM ties into important elements of the Council’s commitment to provide access to arts opportunities. Participation in the arts can dramatically improve health and well-being, counter inequalities and increase social engagement, while also supporting cultural heritage based tourism.”
NCM co-founder Joanne Quigley McParland said, “We have enjoyed being back at Warrenpoint Town Hall, which is a hidden gem of a venue, providing what we consider the best acoustics for chamber music on the island. We are now looking forward to returning to Warrenpoint early in the New Year for a Piano Quintet concert of beautiful music by Dvorak and Elgar. Our Easter concert will feature two sublime works, Haydn’s ‘Seven Last Words’ and Boccherini’s Stabat Mater for Soprano and String Ensemble in the beautiful Riverside Church in Newry.”
May 2023 for NCM sees another world premiere of a piece by Carrickfergus composer Ian Wilson, which was written for NCM during Lockdown in a concert that features composers from Northern Ireland including Joan Trimble and Hamilton Harty. The season finale will take place in Warrenpoint in June and features music by Brahms and Doynanhi.
Alongside all the main series events NCM will be continuing their hugely popular community coffee concerts throughout the Newry Mourne and Down region from December to June.
Joanne added, “Our previous series of coffee concerts in care homes, dementia units, a community for adults with learning difficulties and community halls means we bring the joy of live music to everyone, including some of the most vulnerable in our community who would have no means to access such an event.”
Newry Chamber Music is also supported by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland. Liam Hannaway, Arts Council Chairman said, “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s initiative with Newry Chamber Music is an excellent example of local authorities supporting their local artists. As well as their performances enriching lives, Newry Chamber Music are our ambassadors when performing internationally. Newry, Mourne and Down can be very proud of the stature of these outstanding professional musicians and the work they do within our communities.”
For details on Newry Chamber Music’s programme of concerts see: http://www.newrychambermusic.org