First Donegal Chamber Music Festival hits all the right notes

First Donegal Chamber Music Festival hits all the right notes
The 1st Donegal Chamber Music Festival, held in Glenveagh and the Glebe Gallery at the weekend, was a huge success.

The 1st Donegal Chamber Music Festival, held in Glenveagh and the Glebe Gallery at the weekend, was a huge success.

Four concerts were given over the course of the long weekend, and each was a delight for listener and players alike.

The first and last concerts presented a variety of music from the classical repertoire, spanning five centuries, and each of the four concerts contained a piece by the contemporary composer Vincent Kennedy, who also conducts the Donegal Youth Orchestra.

Vincent gave illuminating introductions to his compositions ­a bonus for the appreciative audiences.

Guest artist in the Friday concert was the charming flautist Sarah Murphy, who excelled in both solo and ensemble performances.

A surprising collaboration concluded the Saturday afternoon session in the auditorium of the Glenveagh Visitors Centre.

The festival is the culmination of seven years of dedicated teaching and musicianship on the part of Víctor Yélamo and his wife Orsolya.

They came from their native Spain to live in Donegal to work with the Local Music Education Partnership (set up by the VEC, not ETB).

This programme provides instruments and music tuition across the county.

Not content with teaching and playing at an international level, Victor and Orsolya play regularly with the celebrated Concerto Malaga, ­and they have also created other ensembles in Donegal.

The Festival featured the Junior String Orchestra (which played in the courtyard of the Glebe Gallery in brilliant sunshine), the more advanced Donegal Chamber Orchestra and the fully professional Donegal Camerata String Quintet ­which brought the festival to a joyous conclusion on the Sunday night.

Many thanks to all the participants, musicians, the audiences and all who facilitated the event.

This first Donegal Chamber Music Festival was promoted by the Donegal Chamber Music Society (DCMS), which was created in 2009 to foster the appreciation of classical music in County Donegal.

Donegal Chamber Music Society collaborates with other musical agencies, artists and workshops, and has been presenting monthly concerts here for the last three years. The next event, in association with the Donegal Music Education Partnership, will be the Cello Meeting Ireland workshop, 19th-22nd June, in Stranorlar and Ballybofey - another wonderful opportunity to enjoy superb classical music in a Donegal setting.