A very special Donegal Spring Concert: -  Bel Canto, Cór Craobhaigh and friends in Ballyshannon

Nostalgic Evening of Music and Song in the Abbey Centre

Staff Reporter


Staff Reporter



A very special Donegal Spring Concert: -  Bel Canto, Cór Craobhaigh and friends in Ballyshannon

The soprano section with Angela Currid.

Saturday 25th March is an evening not to be missed. Bel Canto, Cór Craobhaigh and friends will stage a Nostalgic Evening of Music and Song in the Abbey Theatre Ballyshannon.

The Spring Concert is a special night as all of the performers are from the Ballyshannon area.

Bel Canto

Bel Canto choral group was formed in the mid-1980s. The choir is part of the Ballyshannon Musical Society which has a sixty five year tradition of musical theatre performance. The group meets once a week and performs at local events including charity fundraisers, the annual Folk Festival and the Allingham Arts Festival. Recently Bel Canto travelled to Bushmills, Co. Antrim where it staged a concert in aid of NI Hospice.

Bel Canto has competed, with some success, at music festivals in Sligo, Kiltimagh, Portadown and Navan. It has in the past performed in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast and in the National Concert Hall, Dublin.

Angela Currid has been the group’s musical director since its inception and her dedication, enthusiasm, commitment and talent know no bounds. Angela’s daughter, Niamh, provides the musical accompaniment with an innate level of professionalism.

Members of Bel Canto Choir, Ballyshannon

Cór Craobhaigh

In 1987 Angela Currid established a junior choir, Cór Craobhaigh. Cór Craobhaigh has been performing locally and nationally for thirty years. The group has provided hundreds of local children with an introduction to music and contributes hugely to the musical fabric of the locality.

Angela Currid, Musical Director and Cór Craobhaigh

Our local Traditional Group

This Trad. group involves three local families; the Sheerin family who with Cian Sweeney and Tadhg Mc Garrigle will perform two traditional sets. The performers range from 8 to 19 years of age.

The Sheerin family live in the Knather, Ballyshannon and are made up of three girls and one boy.  Cíarde plays Banjo, fiddle and guitar, Ríonach plays fiddle, bodhran, guitar and has recently taken up the concertina; the youngest sister, Fòdhla also plays fiddle. The fourth member of the family is eight year old Daithí who plays the button accordion and loves joining in with the girls in sessions.

Both Cian and Tadhg have close connections with 'Bel Canto’; Cian is the son of Niamh Currid and Grandson of our musical director Angela Currid. He plays fiddle, piano and guitar. Taghd is a son of Brídín McGarrigle and will play the fiddle when he joins the others on stage on the night

The Sheerins with Cian and Taghd represent the next generation of the Currid; McNulty, McGarrigle and Sweeney musical dynasty.

Charity Raffle on the Night

The night’s raffle proceeds will be donated to the Bluestack Special Needs Foundation. This group was established in 2006 with the main aim of assisting people with special needs, their families and carers to take a full and active role in society. The group runs a community space in Donegal Town which is used by organisations such as the Irish Wheelchair Association. It also enables the provision of services including speech therapy to children in South Donegal.

The Tenors:  L to R; Brian Stephens, John Fallon, Willie John Doherty, Ray Kerr, Phonsie O’Brien, Ray McGough

The Bases: L to R; Paddy Leonard, Dick Dobson, Jim Lawrence, Tom Lynch, Fr. Feargus]

The Altos:  Front row, L to R; Monica Russell, Frances Daly, Mary Donovan; Back row, L to R; Marie McNulty, Aideen McGarrigle, Maeve Duffy, Mary Stephens.

The Sopranos, (pictured in opening photograph on this post are) Front row, L to R:Angela Currid, Kathleen Forkin, Helen Danagher, Linda Gillespie, Clare McCaffrey, Geraldine Shovlin; Back row L to R, Sandra Sheerin, Emer McFadden, Anne Britton, Joan Calpin, Rita Tuohy, Lorraine Quinn.