Our Guest Soloists for the Christmas Gala Concert Part 1

Introducing Megan O’Neill

Megan O’Neill is a soprano from Killarney, County Kerry. She completed her BMus Degree
in Maynooth University in 2018 and graduated with a First Class Honours Degree. In August 2020, she completed her Masters in Music Performance Degree at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, where she received a First Class Honours. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Music Performance Degree at the RIAM. Megan was a lead soloist at the prestigious
Maynooth Annual Carol Service under the direction of Dr John O’Keeffe. In 2016, she
featured as a soloist with ‘Choir of the World’ Maynooth University Chamber Choir on their
tour of America and China. In 2019, Megan played the role of Mary-Braud in the Irish
première of the opera Banished by British composer Stephen McNeff. Later in 2019, she
played the role of Sirena in Francesca Caccini’s opera Alcina at the Abbey Theatre, gaining
her a feature in The Irish Times. She starred as Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia by Benjamin
Britten in the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2019, coached by Brenda Hurley. Megan
performed at the launch of Sorolla, Spanish Master of Light, the 2019 exhibition at the
National Gallery of Ireland curated by Ann Murray and was a featured soloist in A Heavenly
Christmas Tree by Colin Mawby, conducted by Blanaid Murphy at St Ann’s Church, Dublin.
In November 2020, she was awarded second prize in the Irené Sandford singing competition.
Megan is also a part of the Camerata Ireland Academy for the year 2020/2021.

Christmas on the Island of Geese

We are delighted to announce that our first Christmas performance this year will be at Tralee Chamber’s Festive Evening Markets at the Island of Geese, Tralee.

The Island of Geese regeneration has been a fantastic project with its gorgeous performance space and wildflower meadows, but this Christmas it will be the setting for a key element in Tralee Chamber’s “Tralee the Christmas Kingdom” program of events. The Festive Markets will, according to the organisers, “be a feast for your eyes and your bellies, promising to leave you with a warm, fuzzy glow that will melt even the grinchiest of hearts”.

We can’t wait to perform there and to experience some of that fuzzy glow for ourselves.

See you there Friday 9 December 2022. We’ll be singing from 8:30 pm but make sure you check out all the other performers on before us!

Look to the future now, it’s only just begun

Ok, look, where would we even start when it comes to 2020? What can be said that hasn’t been said, what can be said that would make it better? Some had an awful year, some had great joy during the year and most of us just put our heads down and ploughed on. As a I write this, news is coming through of another lockdown, albeit one fuelled by Irish coffees, tins of roses, Christmas cake and more food than anyone would know what to do with. Let’s just call it festive hibernating and leave it at that.

2021 is looking promising at least. With vaccines on the way, a much hoped for return to singing seems all the more plausible and when we do start getting back to a more familiar way of living, I think we can rely on strong audiences. Sure won’t we all be chomping at the bit to see live performances ourselves? Last Sunday night’s video had nearly 6000 views between St. John’s website, their facebook page and our own, which is no small number. Hopefully in the New Year we will be able to get some of those to come and see us in person, won’t that be lovely – singing together and performing for an audience. To quote the great Noddy Holder of Slade:

Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.

A Merry Christmas to you all and a very Happy New Year!