City Hall gearing up for Gig na Gaelainne

City Hall gearing up for Gig na Gaelainne
Cork singer songwriter John Spillane during rehearsals with Cor Chill Na Martra and their conductor Gobnait Ni Chonchuir, at City Hall, Cork. Picture: David Keane.

Cork City Hall will welcome three hundred singers from nine choirs for an evening of music and song at ‘Gig na Gaelainne’ later this month.

As part of Mí na Gaeilge celebrations, the event will also feature the renowned artists John Spillane, Seán Ó Sé, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Ger Wolfe. 

A concert rooted in the traditions of the past but pulsing with contemporary vigour, it is simply not to be missed.

Cillian Brennan and Gobnait O’Connor - the conductors of the Irish-Language choirs Óró and Cór Chill na Martra - are the organisers of the event. 

They are working in partnership with the Irish-Language organisations ReRá and Gael Taca and with the backing of Cork City Council. 

Having already organised a well-received, multi-choir event at Oireachtas na Gaeilge at the INEC in October of last year, Brennan and O’Connor decided to build on this success. 

‘Gig na Gaelainne’ will be a concert of broader scope with a more varied repertoire sung by a larger number of performers.

Taking to the stage on the night will be the acclaimed Cork troubadours John Spillane and Ger Wolfe. 

They will be joined by the celebrated songstress Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh formerly of traditional supergroup Danú. A special welcome then will await the special guest for the evening, Seán Ó Sé. 

These luminaries will grace the crowd with a few favourites like ‘Óró ‘sé do bheatha abhaile’ and ‘An Poc ar Buile’ along with some newly-composed material. The soloists will be followed on stage by a 300-strong choir comprising Óró, Cór Chill na Martra, and Gaelchór na nÓg - this last group being made up of primary school students from Cork City and environs.

Amongst the gaelscoileanna taking part are, Gaelscoil an Teaghlaigh Naofa, Gaelscoil Mhúscraí, Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil, Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn, Scoil na nÓg, and Gaelscoil Charraig Uí Leighin. They will be joining John Spillane in a number of favourites from his best-selling album ‘Songs We Learned At School’.

‘I’m really looking forward to Gig na Gaelainne,’ John Spillane says. ‘It’s absolutely brilliant to have an event like this in my hometown of Cork and I’m delighted to be part of it.’ Speaking on behalf of City Hall, Irish Development Officer Chris Dorgan says, ‘This project is exactly the type of event Cork City Council’s Grúpa Forbartha Gaeilge is happy to support. It’s a unique event with unique appeal … a concert performed ‘as Gaeilge’ from start to finish. It fits perfectly with our emphasis on supporting organisations and events that foster a bilingual culture in the city, accessible to all levels of Irish It’s a first really. For us at City Hall, it’s the jewel in the crown of the Council’s efforts to promote Irish during Mí na Gaeilge.’ Special guest and local legend Seán Ó Sé is similarly enthused, ‘It’s a great thing that the people of the Gaeltacht will be coming up to Cork to join up with the Gaelgeoirí in the city. I’m looking forward to the night. I hope that the hall is full to bursting. We’ll have a great night.’ This will be a non-profit event with proceeds going to Cork Simon Community and Irish-Language organisations.

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