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Cantare Choir. Photograph by Paul Corey.

Glorious night of music awaits

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EXCITEMENT is mounting amongst Cantare Choir members as rehearsals are in full swing for the Cantare Choir with Orchestra Vivaldi’s Gloria Summer Concert taking place in Ennis Cathedral on Saturday, May 11 at 8pm.
While the programme features the uplifting 12 movements of Vivaldi’s Gloria (RV 589) with full orchestral accompaniment, it also showcases some wonderful favourites, such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D, and Summer from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi, to name but two of the many pieces selected for performance.
The choir and orchestra will be joined by celebrated vocal soloists Regina Nathan, Helen Houlihan and Ruth Kelly, while Kerry violinist, Hannah O’Shea, and organist
Eoin Shanahan from Quilty also perform solo pieces in what is being described as “an unforgettable evening of musical excellence”.
Musical Director is the renowned Michael Hennessy, and Master of Ceremonies will be the esteemed Nigel Bridge.
The proceeds of this enchanting evening will be in support of two worthy charities, Sláinte an Chláir – Clare Cancer Support and Pieta, whose annual Darkness into Light event takes place on the same date.
According to choir director, Michael Hennessy, “Rehearsals are going great – I’m really pleased with how it’s all turning out. It will be a wonderful event for everyone to enjoy. The Cathedral is a fabulous venue – our thanks to Fr Tom Ryan for facilitating us for this event, to Nigel Bridge, and to our soloists for joining us in this magnificent event.
Ticket sales are going great, so looking forward to seeing everyone there on May 11!”
Cantare is a mixed voice choir based in Ennis that stages a number of performances annually to raise money for local charities, along with participating in wider events in and around Clare.
Cantare has also competed nationally and internationally at both Derry and Cork choral festivals. What binds the choir is a love of singing and the knowledge that the sound of the whole is much more powerful than the sum of its individual parts.
A devoted recitalist and concert performer, Regina Nathan’s career in opera, concert and recital has taken her from Ireland across Europe, and as far as Kuala Lumpur and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
She has sung leading lyric soprano roles throughout her career in some of Europe’s major Opera Houses.
Helen Houlihan has enjoyed a busy career in the singing world performing regularly in concert, recital, opera and oratorio both in Ireland and abroad. In addition to her extensive opera work,
Helen has also been a guest soloist with the RTE Concert Orchestra. She holds an MA Music Performance from Cork School of Music.
Helen has studied in both Ireland and London and currently teaches singing in the Mid-West Vocal Academy in Limerick and in Clare Music Makers, Ennis. 
Irish soprano Ruth Kelly studied in DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, where she graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Voice in 2012.
Alongside her extensive work in opera, she has sung many concerts around Ireland, including lunchtime recitals with the Irish Baroque Orchestra and solo recitals in St Ann’s Church, Dawson St, Dublin, St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, St Columba’s Church, Ennis and Mary Immaculate Chapel, Limerick. She has sung as a lead soprano for banquets and corporate events with the Bunratty Castle Entertainers and Knappogue Castle Entertainers for over a decade, and has also been involved in the Franciscan Friary Choir, Ennis, for many years.
A member of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland for several years and the orchestra concertmaster in 2022/23, Hannah O’Shea is a Kerry-based violinist, currently in the first year of her undergraduate degree at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. She is a former student of Professor Diane Daly in Limerick and is currently studying with Mia Cooper.
She is a regular participant in youth music ensembles in the southern region, including Kerry Music Generation, Killaloe Chamber Music Festival, and ConCorda.
Eoin Shanahan, from Quilty has played music from a young age from button accordion to classical piano. Having made organ his primary instrument at Maynooth University, he was selected as Organ Scholar in 2018 and went on to become St Patrick’s Pontifical University College Organist.
He was also appointed organist of Ennis Cathedral. Eoin is a tutor with the Music Department at Maynooth and an active composer.
Beneficiary Sláinte an Chláir – Clare Cancer Support is a voluntary organisation that helps people to access information about all aspects of cancer, including diagnosis, treatment and aftercare, and provides practical support and services free of charge for people affected by cancer and their families.
Located at Kilnamona and Raheen, Scarriff, the charity operates a 24-hour helpline on 0876912396.
Pieta provides a range of services nationally to people who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, those who engage in self-harm, and those bereaved by suicide. 
All services are provided free of charge, and no referral is needed. To learn more about what services Pieta offers, visit www.pieta.ie
Tickets are still available online at www.glor.ie or by phone from Glór Box Office on 065 6843103.
A very limited number of tickets will be available at the door on the night.

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