In light of recent resignations and appointments, it was decided to remain in Ireland for our Post-Easter trip this year. The Boys and Gentlemen of the Choir left Dublin on Friday 28th March, and braved the combined elements of appalling weather and treacherous roads to make the 260 km journey to Westport, Co. Mayo.
The Choir were accompanied by Fraser Wilson, recently appointed director of music, and Alexandra Jobling, our acting assistant organist. The trip was organised as a “working” weekend, and it was a good chance for Fraser to meet and greet the Choristers and Gentlemen before he takes up the post of director of music in May.
Westport is a compact estate town, and all the venues and amenities were within walking distance of our hotel. On arrival, the travelling party made full use of the hotel’s leisure centre before dinner and a good night’s rest. After breakfast on Saturday, the choir met in Holy Trinity national school for an extensive rehearsal session. Following the rehearsal the boys and some of the adults ventured to Westport House, and enjoyed some of the facilities which included a slippery dip slide, a model railway, swan pedaloes, and the log flume ride.
Later that evening the Choir led the singing at the Vigil Mass in Saint Mary’s Church, and we were welcomed warmly by Fr. Denis Carney, Administrator, Gabriel Kelly, the Parish Organist, and members of a 400 plus congregation who showed their appreciation with a very generous applause at the end of the Mass. After the service, Choristers and support party returned to the Hotel for dinner.
On Sunday morning, the Choir rehearsed in Holy Trinity Church for a service of Morning Prayer which was led by Mr. Denzil Auchmuty, Diocesan reader. The parishioners were delighted to have “live” music at the service, normally they use cd recordings. After this service we joined the parishioners for tea and coffee, and shortly afterwards, the travelling party returned to Dublin.