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September 2021 Current goings-on………………

And so the shutdown of the arts section finally ends. Personally, I’d almost stopped believing this day would ever come, giving in during darker moments to all sorts of pessimistic scenarios. (Such as a world where live streams are the only permissible type of live music and choirs an oddity from history……..)

At last, though, the ban on live music is being lifted. And choirs can resume indoor rehearsals from September 20th. While it’s too early to talk about the restrictions in the past tense – and I certainly don’t want to tempt fate – it’s a massive relief to at last be contemplating something like a ‘normal’ year from the perspective of choirs and teaching at least, and, possibly, performing. In the meantime, the choirs have resumed rehearsals using whatever means are currently available to us; for some groups that means outdoor rehearsals, while some of the choirs I direct are still in Zoom-land (I can handle it when I know it’s only for another few weeks! Just don’t come near me with talk of Virtual Choirs). In fact, Gardiner Street Gospel Choir are currently recruiting – definitely worth getting in touch if you’re interested in auditioning for a first-rate gospel choir.

I’ve been recording a piece I wrote with support from the Arts Council of Ireland a kind of choral sea shanty. Pictured are some of the wonderful musicians featured on the recording, which I’ll publish on YouTube in the coming weeks:

Lioba Petrie recording cello for Strange Kind of Rain
Sadhbh O’Sullivan, Pia Dunne, Paddy Groeland, Michael McCartan & Cathy McEvoy recording vocals, Strange Kind of Rain

What else? Even before the most recent announcement it had been possible to return to performing at wedding ceremonies and, under certain circumstances, wedding afters, so at least I was kept out of trouble 🙂

Better Normal

I also got to perform last month along with members of The Gospel Project in the show Better Normala concept concert based around skiffle music with featured artists Eleanor McEvoyJess Kavanagh and Pauline Scanlon + 8-piece band and gospel choir (that’s where we come in!)  

We had an absolute blast rehearsing and filming at O Reilly Theatre, Dublin, in mid-August, and the show is available to stream since August 27th.

Prior to that though, the ‘long silence’ was hard for audiences, beyond difficult for people planning their weddings, and it wasn’t much crack for performers either! Here’s me + my Gospel Project buddies talking about the impact of lockdown on professional musicians, and what we missed most –

Choirs:

Just before summer break, choirs were finally able to escape from Zoom-land now that outdoor rehearsals are permitted; challenging, for sure, especially with the unpredictability of the Irish weather, but I’ll take it over singing into a screen any day of the week! Fingers crossed for a safe return to indoor rehearsals in September.

In the meantime, I’m happy to return to in person teaching at Waltons, in tandem with some online tuition. Teaching violin via Zoom: awkward, but not as much so as trying to run choir rehearsals that way!

I’ve also recently wrapped up some very exciting online projects, including this rather special event curated by Gardiner Street Gospel Choir and funded by Cruinniu na nOg

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Before the new year lockdown, Gardiner Street Gospel Choir had been trying out an ambitious model of ‘drive-through’ rehearsals in car parks, which actually makes it possible for members to singer together safely, in real time, though unfortunately we had to suspend this during the 4 months of the 5km travel limit. The photo below may give the impression that I’ve started a cult, but be assured it’s something much more sinister. It’s a choir rehearsal!

In the crowded field of strange 2020 rehearsal experiences, this stands out as one of the odder ones……..








Sandymount Gospel Choir’s Virtual Version of Go tell it on the mountain

I managed to participate in lots of virtual performances in addition to the choral ones, including the rather fun version of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ below with the good men + women of the Gospel Project

I even had the chance to play with performers from all over the world, thanks to the formidable efforts of The Musical Solidarity Project (I’m in there somewhere, in the midst of the 1st violin section!):

From that point of view it’s not all bad, the shutdown (and Zoom!) have permitted unprecedented access to international events. From my vantage point at my laptop I’ve been to events such as the terrific Spheres of Singing conference in Glasgow and even managed to attend a film music writing course in Madrid –

The show also goes on with Zoom teaching and online rehearsals……

The Gardiner Street Gospel Choir has even found a way to continue singing at our weekly mass through the shutdown, I hope you’ll come and check us out on Sundays at 7.30pm. We had a particularly lovely celebration mass for Africa Day on May 24th, when we were joined by our friends from African Gospel Choir Dublin as well as a special celebration for Pride on June 28th.

I also want to share a song I composed some years back, written from the perspective of an older person, a person of faith, looking back on their life. I hadn’t thought about this song much since writing it, but it seems to chime with the mood of recent events –

In the spirit of keeping the music alive when the world stops, I participated in this fantastic project – a Musical Solidarity venture bringing orchestral musicians and singers from all over the world to perform Verdi’s Va Pensiero ‘together’. Looking forward to seeing the results of the ‘Virtual Verdi’.

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Here’s some of the weird and wonderful things I had going on before the shutdown……

An Coinneal

I wrote this piece for a wedding, wanting to write something within the Irish tradition but with a modern twist. When you record audio you can capture as many takes of yourself as you like and layer them all of top of each other, but try doing that live 🙂 This video captures the idea pretty closely though, with multiple Cathys on violin and viola! Made possible by the wise and clever people of Kerbute Productions.

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Gardiner Street Gospel Choir celebrated our 20th birthday (to my personal disbelief – I was there at the first ever rehearsal and I don’t feel that old!) with a special gig at the Button Factory, Dublin on March 8th. If we say so ourselves, it was a kick-ass gig. And we didn’t know it at the time, but it turned out to be the last chance we’d have to perform together for, presumably, quite a while. So grateful that we got to do it.

The Gospel Project are fresh from a rather special gig on Sun. 23rd February in Gandharva Loka, Dublin 2. This is the time when we’re usually back in full wedding mode now that January is over and Spring has sprung…… but not this year. Looking forward to getting back to raising roofs around the country sooner rather than later.

As usual I’ve been on fiddle duty with The Whole Hog throughout the year, check out our website for gig info.

I had the pleasure of guesting with Leonard Cohen tribute act Tower of Song in November in Castletown House, Celbridge. And a rather special gig in August was a Riverwide reunion gig The Cobblestone, Dublin. One of the most fun bands I’ve ever played in, back together for the first time in years.

Gardiner Street Gospel Choir had a brilliant 2019 which included a sold-ut concert in December, a terrific performance at the Five Lamps Arts Festival in May, headlining the Gospel Rising Festival in May as well as singing our hearts out at mass every Sunday night in ‘God’s gaff’ (St. Francis Xavier’s Church)!

Portmarnock Singers concluded a great year’s music making with our summer concert on May 10th  – https://www.facebook.com/events/2170140799944759/

and Sandymount Gospel Choir turned in a pretty awesome concert on Fri. 24th May.

May also saw the conclusion of Clamour and Roar, a choral/theatre project I’ve been working on since October 2018, at the Civic Theatre, Tallaght under the directorship of Veronica Coburn.

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My return to the wonderful world of Gardiner Street Gospel Choir got off to a rip roaring start on August 22nd with a performance at the RDS for the World Meeting of Families.

A Valentine’s Day special with tenor Mark Walsh and pianist Francesco Amatucci

October  2016: The Lazy Band album launch

www.thelazyband.ie

In My Garden is a celebration of a musical experiment among friends who have long delighted in the sharing of good music with each other and with local Dublin audiences. The 14-track album is a collection of original and traditional songs, tunes, covers and poetry recorded over a week in January at the Galway home of Josh’s aunt Lorna, dubbed “the potting shed”. www.thelazyband.ie

Summer 2016: Arts Council Travel & Training Award

I was rather pleased about this. I received a Travel & Training Award from the Arts Council of Ireland to travel to the U.S, to St. John’s University, Minnesota, where I attended an amazing course with the prestigious VoiceCare Network, learning in greater depth about vocal pedagogy, and further developing my skills as a choral conductor. A brilliant opportunity for which I’m very grateful.

July 2015 Heard You Call My Name released!

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The latest single from my new EP is now available from 

Penned by yours truly and performed with raucous energy by The Gospel Project, this first single from the Letters to Loved Ones EP is guaranteed to have you humming and clapping along. Or your 99c back 🙂 Enjoy.

Letters to Loved Ones EP now available to download!

Cathy McEvoy EP online cover
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Sure why not buy the whole EP while you’re at it. Yes, it’s finally happening. It’s been epic. Singers have lost their voices. Files have been corrupted. Engineers have disappeared from the face of the earth. But a few broken strings and quite a few grey hairs later, Letters to Loved Ones has now been unleashed. Just click here to enjoy my quirky blend of gospel, alt rock and folk.  I hope you like it. 

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Bamboo Sessions June 7th 2015, St. Finian’s Church, Dublin 2

The Bamboo Sessions Quartet with Danny G + the Major 7ths. Photography - Kate Turner
The Bamboo Sessions Quartet with Danny G + the Major 7ths.
Photography – Kate Turner

This was one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve participated in in a long time. A singer-songwriter night with a difference: live string quartet. 6 Dublin-based songwriters – myself, Danny G, Celine Carroll, Edel Meade, Enda Reilly and Sive – performed our own songs and each others in arrangements for string quartet prepared specially for the event. The quartet featured myself and Imogen Gunner on violins,  Mary Barnecutt on cello and Niamh Roche on viola. Lovely venue, great crowd and a terrific evening’s music. Who could ask for anything more?

Under My Bed 2015

On Friday March 13th, a piece of mine for SATB choir, piano, cello and soprano soloist, was premiered as part of Under My Bed in Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. If you missed it last year, Under My Bed is an extraordinary project; people from the arts world and beyond are invited to write a short piece on the theme ‘under my bed’, the resulting works are then performed over several magical nights in one of Dublin’s most charming venues, and most importantly, vital funds are raised  for children’s charity Barnardos.

UMBrehearsal

I assembled a special ‘Under My Bed’ Mixed Voice Choir for the event, all of whom are shared their talents freely and out of sheer goodwill.I still can’t believe my good fortune in getting the singers and musicians I did on board. Here we are pictured during rehearsal…the furrowed brows testify to the fact that the piece is a little tricky! But the performance went very well indeed. Delighted to have been part of this marvellous event. 

Comments
  1. Lisa Convery,Clarenmore services,Creative Keyboards, Galway says:

    Hi Cathy. Love your website. I don’t know where you get the time! I would love to have an arrangement for ‘Movin on up’ to do with a young music group in Galway that I’m helping. Do you have an SATB arrangement I could have please? I think they might like ‘Imagine’ too. I’d be very grateful. Also I see you have a music in mind session in Mullingar tomorrow but I don’t see where. I think my parents and a couple of their friends would be interested if they knew where it was. Thanks so much Cathy.
    Lisa
    Music facilitator,
    Galway

    • cmevoy says:

      Hi Lisa,
      thanks for getting in touch…can you send me an email and I’ll see if I can help with the “moving on up’ arrangement? Thanks a mill!
      Cathy

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