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Gordon Garde

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Gordon Garde studied singing with Maeve Coughlan at the Cork School of Music. He has been a long-time member of the vocal ensemble Madrigal ’75, performing all over Ireland and on the continent, including a recent tour to Spain in 2016. A regular solo performer, Gordon has given many solo recitals, including Schumann’s song cycle, Dichterliebe in Cork, Waterford, Kinsale and Dublin. Gordon has previously performed as baritone soloist with the Irish Youth Choir and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Cork School of Music Fleischmann Choir, the Orchestra of St Cecilia in Dublin, the vocal ensemble Madrigal ‘75 and with virtually all the major choirs from the city and county of Cork. He was also a founder member of the Cork School of Music Opera Workshop group and performed for many years in the group’s concerts and productions, including Trial by Jury in the Granary Theatre, Cork. He joined Cork Opera 2005 as a founder member and featured in the production of Dido and Aeneas and later sang in the company’s productions of Mozart’s Figaro’s Wedding, Bizet’s Carmen and Rossini’s Barber of Seville in the Cork Opera House. With Cork Operatic Society, he sang in Der Vampyr (Marschner), La Traviata (Verdi) and, in September 2016, undertook the baritone role of a five-man feature chorus in composer John O’Brien’s concert performance of his new opera, The Nightingale and the Rose, premiered at the Everyman Theatre, Cork. Gordon has also sung with the Clerks Choral of St Mary’s Collegiate Church, based in Youghal and with the Cork School of Music Vocal Ensemble singing from the modern musical and jazz repertoires. He is also a current member of the project choruses of the Cork Youth Orchestra and the Cork Concert Orchestra. Recent sacred music performances include Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Handel’s Messiah, both with the East Cork Choral Society, and in December 2016 a performance of Saint Saëns’ Oratorio de Noel in Killeagh. A graduate of University College Cork, Gordon worked as a scientist with a multinational pharmaceutical company in Co. Cork.

Mary Flaherty

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Mary Flaherty hails from Dunmore Co.Galway. Currently living in Dublin, she has sung with Opera Ireland where roles have included Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and with Lyric Opera singing Frasquita in Carmen and Flora in La Traviata among others. Mary made her operatic debut with Co-Opera in 2006 singing the title role in Puccini's Tosca. She has performed with Opera in the Open where roles have included Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte and Mother, Sandman, Dew Fairy and Witch all in the same performance! She was chosen as one of twelve singers to take part in Wexford Festivals first Artist Development Programme under Dennis O'Neill.
 On the Concert Platform, she sings throughout Ireland and has appeared with choirs in New York, Florence, Rome, Madrid and Vienna and was soloist in Sean Bovim's Queen at the Ballet for three performances while at The Point in Dublin. 
Mary joined with mezzo soprano Liz Ryan in recent years to form The PreMadonnas and they have enjoyed performing many concerts in Dublin and throughout Ireland. 
Earlier this year, Mary performed with the Dublin Orchestral Players for their summer concert at Kings Inns in Dublin. She sings regularly as a soloist with Dunmore Choir, Drawing Room Opera Company and The Dublin Airport Singers. 

Richard Rudkins

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Richard Rudkins is a composer, orchestrator and organist based in Cork. He graduated from the BMus degree course in the CIT Cork School of Music in 2013, and completed his MA studies in composition in 2016 under the guidance of C.S.L Parker. In 2012, his work in the field of composition earned him the Director’s Prize at the Cork School of Music. He also held the PM Group Fellowship in Composition at the Cork School of Music from 2014-2016. He has also received tuition in composition and orchestration from composers such as Seamus de Barra, Alan Cutts, Conrad Pope and Christopher Young, as well as attending workshops/lectures with composers Carl Davis and Howard Shore.
A busy organist, Richard has accompanied many choirs around Cork including the Mahon Parish Choir where he was resident organist for three years. He also works with the Mayfield Gospel Choir where he is musical director. He currently studies under the guidance of James Taylor at the Cork School of Music, where Richard also lectures in orchestration.

LUCIANO FONTONI

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Born in Cagliari in 1970, Luciano Fontoni started studying choral conducting and singing after High School. He has attended many courses and seminars under the guidance of S. Korn, A.O. Veneracion, E. Turlà, A.S. Martinez, C. Høgset, M. Berrini and he studied choral and vocal interpretation in the ancient and baroque music repertoire at the Triennial School of Choir Conducting directed by G. Acciai.
He formed and directed several vocal groups and his artistic activity has often turned to social issues, promoting fundraisers in favor of the meniños de rua in Brazil and humanitarian associations such as UNICEF and Medici Senza Frontiere-Medicins Sans Frontieres, and, since November 2007, he is the conductor of the Coro Polifonico "Luigi Colacicchi" of Rome.
He taught vocal technique at the IALS (Institute of Training of Entertainment Workers) of Rome; between 2006 and 2011 he attended the High School for Choir Directors of Guido d'Arezzo Foundation; here he obtained the triennial degree and then the annual Master degree in Conducting and Interpretation of Choral Music, studying under the guidance of professors R. Becheri, P. Broadbent, R. Butelli, N. Corti, L. Donati, R. Gabbiani , G. Graden, B. Holten, A. King, M. Luisi, W. Marzilli, L. Marzola, M. Mora, P. Neumann, R. Pezzati, A. Schweitzer, S. Sage. Currently he is studying voice functional method by Gisela Rohmert under the guidance of Giuseppe Costi.

Joan Macdonnell

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Joan studied music at both The Royal Irish Academy of Music and The Leinster School of Music and chose piano as performance elective for her B.Ed in Music and Education.
She is Regional Director of The National Children’s Choir and her school choirs have won 1st prize at the R.D.S. Ballsbridge and at various other choir competitions - including Feis Maitiu in Dublin.
Joan has directed the Dunmore Church Choir for over 30 years now. She has directed all Dunmore Musical Society productions - Calamity Jane, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Annie Get Your Gun and Grease!
Under her baton the choir has performed many concerts around Ireland and the National Novena to Our Lady of Knock is now an annual event in the Choir Calendar. She directed the Choir at numerous competitions, including Cork International Choral Festival, Kiltimagh and the Mayo International Choral Festival.
Joan has also directed the Choir on all of their overseas trips including Brittany, Rome, Florence, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, Harlem, Vienna, Toronto, London and Praque and she is deeply grateful to our long term accompanist, Eoghan Connolly!
She wishes to thank Bernadette Kiely for her inspirational leadership and great good humour throughout this project. She also extends ‘Míle Buíochas’ to the patient and hard working committees involved.
At this 50th Anniversary Celebration Joan would like to dedicate tonight’s performance to all of our deceased Choir Members. She fondly remembers Choir Directors Michael Leydon, R.I.P. and Mrs Una Mooney, R.I.P. May we continue to honour and cherish the rich tradition and legacy of Church Music in Dunmore.

CORO POLIFONICO “LUIGI COLACICCHI”

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The "Colacicchi" was formed in 1978 under the guidance of Domenico Cieri , conductor until 2002, the year of his death. Bears the name of Luigi Colacicchi, italian composer, choir conductor and ethnomusicologist. His repertoire is primarily directed to compositions of the XVI-XVII and XX both sacred and profane and arrangements of folk songs.
The choir has performed and toured in many Italian and foreign locations (Switzerland, Greece, Great Britain, Czech Republic and Portugal) and has participated in national and international exhibitions and festivals. He recorded the CD "Parasceve Suite" with music by Lajos Bárdos and György Deák- Bárdos and the CD “Canti Popolari di Ciociaria” with choral arrangements by Luigi Colacicchi of folk songs of Ciociaria, a region near Frosinone in Central Italy. He also participated to the CD "Lazio in coro" curated by the Choir Regional Association of Lazio. He was invited to recordings by various Italian and foreign radio stations.
In 2004 he won the 2nd prize at the National Polyphonic Competition "San Tommaso d’Acquino", also won the jury award. In 2006 he won the 2nd place at the National Choral Competition "Città di Zagarolo". In 2009 he won the 3rd prize in the choral music of the century XX and XXI and the special prize for the best program of sacred polyphonic music of the century XVI-XVII in the Regional Choral Competition "Citta di Formello."
Since November 2007, the “Colacicchi” is conducted by Luciano Fontoni.

Dunmore Church Choir

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Musical Director: Joan Macdonnell
Accompanists: Eoghan Connolly and Sarah Tierney

Dunmore Church Choir was formed in 1967 for the opening of the new parish church. However, long before then, a wonderful tradition of sacred music had been established in the old church and many of our members still remember singing Mass in Latin! There are approximately 50 members in the choir. Their primary objective is to sing sacred music for liturgical celebrations. They sing Mass every Sunday and highlights of the year include Christmas and Easter celebrations. In 1996, they travelled to Dunmore’s twin town, Querien, Brittany, where they performed a series of recitals. They performed at many choir competitions in Ireland including Derry, Limerick, Cork International Choral Festival, Mayo International Choral Festival and Kiltimagh Choral Festival. In 2005 they travelled to Italy and performed two recitals – in Rome and Florence. In 2007, the choir sang in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York and in the Baptist Church, Harlem. 2009 took them to the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna and in October 2011, the choir travelled to Toronto and performed concerts there. In 2013, the choir travelled to London where they sang an Irish Mass and staged a concert in aid of ‘Justice for Irish Emigrants’. In December 2015, the group travelled to Praque and performed two concerts there. Plans are already afoot for their next overseas trip in 2018!
The choir are the backbone of the Musical Society and have presented many successful productions over the years including Oklahoma, Calamity Jane, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Annie Get Your Gun and the ever popular Grease. Their secular programme includes a wide range of music varying from Handel, Mozart and Bruckner to some light jazz and popular pieces.
The Dunmore Church Choir extends a warm welcome to our Italian visitors and a most sincere ‘ Thank You‘ to Bernadette Kiely and all of our Cork friends for this wonderful evening of music.