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Arts & Culture

Bursary for music and drama

CLARE County Council Arts Office ‘s 2014 bursary is now open to applicants. One young person is being offered the chance to attend the Meitheal Traditional Summer School and another the opportunity to participate in the Irish Youth Choir Summer School. The aim of the Meitheal bursary is to assist a young Clare musician to attend the summer school to develop their music skills through an intensive programme of master classes and workshops with noted traditional musicians. The bursary covers course fees, accommodation and meals. The bursary for the Irish Youth Choir will enable one young person from Clare to attend the school free of charge and covers all tuition fees and accommodation costs. For both bursaries, they applicants must have successfully auditioned and been accepted by Meitheal and the Irish Youth Choir. Members of amateur drama groups in the county can apply for assistance to attend the 2014 Drama League of Ireland Summer School taking place in UL during the …

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Karen’s poetry wows judges

BALLYVAUGHAN-based writer Karen McDonnell has won the 2014 WOW award for poetry.  The prize is awarded annually by Wordsonthewaves, which publishes an anthology of fiction and poetry by shortlisted and winning writers. Two of McDonnell’s poems were long listed with one, Upstream, the Bliss of Heaven making the final shortlist. Part of a historical song-cycle, the poem’s subjects are Margaret Roper and her father Thomas More, who was condemned to death in the reign of Henry VIII. Commenting on his choice for the WOW! Poetry Prize, judge Knute Skinner wrote: “Is there a word out of place? I don’t think so.” McDonnell’s travel writing, fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in The Irish Times, Crannóg, The Clare Champion, by the Clare Poets, and in Los Angeles by the litzine poeticdiversity which will publish a second extract from Unsettled, a West Bank Journal in its Spring, 2014 issue. McDonnell is currently working on her first poetry collection, People this Little World. …

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Ardsollus feeling the love

By CAROL BYRNE A CLARE group of musicians have made it through to the semi-final of the Le Crunch Apple of My Eye song contest with Today FM, having been selected from nearly 1,000 entries nationwide. Ardsollus, featuring Ennis Gospel Choir, have been selected as one of the 10 semi-finalists. The group is made up of Daithí Moore on bazouki and lead vocals; Tony Walker on keyboards; Tola Custy on fiddle; Siobhán Peoples on fiddle; Blackie O’Connell on uilleann pipes; Zyn O’Halloran on harp; Alf Duggan on dobro and Connor Myers on drums. Ardsollus, which was only formed weeks before the competition opened to entries, chose to do a cover of Rudimental’s Feel the Love, which was selected by competition judges to make it through to the semi-final on The KC Show last week. Tony, who is from Quin, said they have put a trad feel into their version of Feel the Love and he outlined how their entry came about. …

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Make a date with the Calendar Girls

JESSICA QUINN THE Clare Champion is more used to bringing the county the news, however now we are getting behind the nudes. The Ennis Players latest production will be Calendar Girls, based on the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund England. And The ‘Champion are supporting their performances in Glór, which will raise funds for not one, but four local charities. The Ennis Players are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their revival, launching their charity production of the fastest selling play in British history at a special meeting this week. The Calendar Girls story was famously made into a film staring Helen Mirren and was subsequently adapted for the stage by Tim Firth, spending the last five years entertaining audiences all over the world. And in the spirit of the original Calendar Girls, the Ennis Players have agreed to donate all proceeds from this production to …

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Annie to capture the hearts of Glór audiences

By CAROL BYRNE LIFE is busy for Ennis Musical Society, as its members put the finishing touches to their 2014 production. Presenting in Glór, the society will run with a string of six performances of Broadway hit musical, Annie, beginning next Tuesday and running through to Saturday, March 1. Kate Corrigan, chairperson of Ennis Musical Society, said there is a lot to prepare in getting a musical to the stage. “There are lots of administrative bits and pieces to be taken care of and we’re now obviously immersed in final rehearsals. It’s going to be a great show and we’re delighted that just under 100 local performers of all age groups will be taking part,” she said. Within this large cast, seven young girls aged from seven to 15 years of age will open the show, playing the parts of Annie and her best friends in the New York City Orphanage. Twelve-year-old Aoibh O’Reilly from Tulla takes on the title …

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Art groups to exhibit in Ennistymon

TWO North Clare groups have come together for a special exhibition, which will open in Ennistymon Public Library on Tuesday next. A Sunbeam To Warm You is a joint exhibition by the Tubber/Boston Women’s Art Group and the Ennistymon Art Group. It will open on Monday and mark Adult Learners’ Week. Both groups are run as part of the Clare Adult Basic Education Service, Adult and Community Education, Limerick and Clare ETB. Tubber/Boston Women’s Art Group was started after a local group approached Clare VEC in 2011 looking for a funded art course. Since then, there have been three courses held at the local community hall under the direction of art tutor, Marie Connole. The exhibition features work from the most recent TBWAG course, which ran in the winter of 2013. Ten women from the area met for two hours each week to learn the basics of oil painting. During the course, they experimented with colour theory and developed individual …

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Paul strikes a winning chord online

Owen Ryan ENNIS musician Paul Quinn has clocked up hundreds of thousands of views of his arrangements on YouTube and is planning to record some of his own songs this summer. Recently, he put up his version of the national anthem played on acoustic guitar, which has well over 10,000 views and his versions of the theme tunes from The Wire and Game of Thrones have also racked up big numbers. Speaking about the views on YouTube, he says, “I started about two years ago and it’s kind of progressively gotten bigger and bigger; it’s up to about 700,000 views now. The Irish National Anthem one was featured on 2FM and that kind of exploded overnight, up to 12,000 or 13,000. I’ve just done ones I’ve liked from movies and TV shows and it got a gradual fan base and I’ll record original material in the summer.” He got some help when a link to his version of the Game …

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A dollar to shoot Ghosts of Kilrush

By Peter O’Connell GHOSTS of Kilrush, an autobiographical account of life in the West Clare town in the 1940s, is to be made into a Hollywood film by Los Angeles based Grafton Street Productions. The book, which was written by Joe Riley, who now lives in the Philippines, was published in 2003. He sold the film right for a mere dollar. “The story in the book is very simple,” Joe Riley told The Clare Champion this week. “You had Aunty May whose son was murdered at St Senan’s Well. I was a little kid, four years of age. I had no mum or no dad. What ended up happening was, two people mending each other. That’s what the story is about,” he explained. Chris Cusack is executive producer with Grafton Street Productions and is a former associate producer with the Disney ABC Television Group and an executive producer with Vin Di Bona Productions. “He has roots, I believe in Clare,” …

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