As dusk was falling on a beautiful Autumn evening, Nás na Rí Singers gathered for our first Open Rehearsal, in the glorious grounds of St David's Church, Main St, Naas. Many thanks to the Revd Philip Heak for the use of his magnificent, historic church, and to those choir members who prepared and cleaned up afterwards. With a huge programme of events scheduled by the Arts Section of Kildare County Council, our event had a lot of competition, and we were thrilled to fill the whole church with happy culture vultures of all ages.
Led by our musical director, Áine Mulvey, we guided the audience through an extended warm-up, to a chorus of giggles and guffaws, as we stretched our muscles and our vocal chords.
We were so happy to be joined by the Mayor of Kildare, Brendan Weld and by Lucina Russell and Federica Petronelli of the Arts Section of the Council.
Another extra special guest was Sheila O'Connor, vice-chair of Friends of Naas Hospital, who came along for a sneak preview of the great work we have done so far on our Christmas CD, Rejoice and be Merry, for which Friends of Naas Hospital are our charity partners for 2015. We hope she enjoyed the evening as much as we did.
After treating the audience to a prepared performance of Morten Lauridsen's Sure on this Shining Night, some brave souls came forward and joined the choir as we worked line-by-line through a brand new choral work, Beethoven's Sacris Solemnis. Less than thirty minutes later, we muddled our way through, and gave a very creditable performance of this beautiful stirring work.
Tea, coffee and home baking finished off a hugely successful evening, while more than half a dozen hopeful aspirants auditioned for a place in the choir. We hope to welcome some of them into our ranks in the coming weeks.
This was our first participation in Culture Night, and it was truly a night to remember.