Playing for the Queen


DIT colleagues Cliona Doris, Denise Kelly McDonnell and Anne-Marie O'Farrell (centre) pictured in Áras an Úachtarán where they were invited to play for Queen Elizabeth during the recent State Visit.

27th May 2011

Three colleagues from the Conservatory of Music and Drama - Cliona Doris, Denise Kelly McDonnell and Anne-Marie O'Farrell - were among musicians who were invited to play for Queen Elizabeth at a lunch hosted by President McAleese in Áras an Úachtarán during the recent State Visit.  The three were members of the harp ensemble, Lán an Tí de Chruitirí – or ‘The Full of the House of Harpists’!  The ensemble played the traditional Irish hornpipe piece, The King of the Fairies, followed by a number of pieces based on the popular melodies of lyric poet Thomas Moore including The Last Rose of Summer and Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms. They finished the musical performance with Carolan’s Concerto, the signature tune of the blind Irish harper, Turlough O’Carolan.

DIT musicians were also in evidence at other major events attended by the Queen during her stay.  Up at Dublin Castle for the State dinner, Denise Kelly McDonnell played for the assembled guests, with Liam O'Floinn, while over at Croke Park, Niall Preston played the bodhrán.  At the gala concert in the National Convention Centre, lecturer David Brophy conducted the National Symphony Orchestra, while 4th year student Mark Redmond played the uilleann pipes.  Two graduates were also among the talented performers - Eimear Quinn sang with the NSO and Redmond O Toole played guitar with the Chieftains.

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