Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Special: Athenry Concert in 1901 by Ronan Killeen

Christmas Special...

This month I am quite happy to set a lighter tone to Athenry Local History. Northgate street nowadays is a street of stores and pubs but I bet not everyone from Athenry knew that there was actually a hall on Northgate Street (I certainly didn't!). We will begin...
   On the 10th of January 1902 The Tuam News reported about a concert that took place on December the 26th and 27th 1901. An annual concert for a charitable cause (The article does not state what the charity was for!)

"The very spacious hall at Northgate Street, was suitabily prepared for the occasion, and, as a variety of entertainment aswell as (a?) concert was part of the programme, stage and scenery were to suit were tastefully arranged.
   As benefiting the move in preservation of Mother Tongue, the boys of the Athenry National School rendered as opening item "An Chruit re scar," the Harp, harmonized in our own language an astonished as well as pleased the audience. The precision in pronunciation of our own Gaelic, aswell as the thorough harmony throughout was most gratifying, the audience showed their appreciation by repeated encores.
   "Through the Last Glimpse of Erin" was very sweetly song by Miss.Dolan. That splendid son "Bantry Bay" was done justice by Mr.P. Kelly, and Miss Ryan, whose sweet singing has been heard at local concerts rendered "Killarney" in admirable style. "When shall day break in Erin," that favourite new song was sung by Mr.T.Higgins in splendid style and loudly applauded.

The comic element was well kept up with the "Galway Militia", (local Comic), John F. Kelly and "Crockery Ware" by W.P. Higgins. Both acquitted themselves well . Miss Barbra Leonard, Miss Delia McDonagh and Miss Alice Nolan rendered their songs with taste and after duets with Misses Mahon and Nolan, and Mr and Mrs Graham, the singing with glee by female school children was rendered in the very taking style.
   Variety entertainment was opened by (a?) stump speech by John F.Kelly and indeed Athenry audiences know how inimitable he is in this role. With a blend of local monstrosities he fairly convulsed those present.
A feature of the night entertainment very much appreciated was the stepdancing of Messrs. W.P Higgins, T.Monaghan, and P.Keane. The Irish jig was certainly tipped in style of the highest praise.
The entertainment was brought to a close with the laughable farce "The Irish Doctor," in which the leading parts were taken by Messrs.Kelly, Mahon, Lardner and Nolan, must successfully. Altogether the entertainment was most enjoyable. The pinaforte of accompaniments of various songs were tastefully executed by Miss May Kelly, Mrs. Broderick and Miss Dolan.

- Correspondent.

Well Readers that it is it until sometime in January so..............


                               Mr.Ronan Killeen

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