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When the Orchestra came to the Castles

Tipperary’s most historic castles welcomed one of the world’s leading orchestras at the weekend for two very special performances and “changeable” weather did nothing to dampen spirits

Ormond Castle in Carrick on Suir and Cahir Castle were the locations as the Irish Chamber Orchestra debuted their collaboration with Grammy nominated guitarist Jimmy Smyth and vocalist Karrie Holmes for two free concerts presented by CWB Productions with the support of Tipperary County Council and the OPW under the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme.

In Carrick, audiences arrived early to a sun dappled Ormond Castle courtyard to see renowned local fiddle player Martin Murray joined by Paul Grant and Suzanne Rowe open up proceedings with a fine set of traditional music including a haunting piece from the pen of Turlough O’Carolan, the renowned 18th century blind harper.
The Irish Chamber Orchestra took to the stage as the sun dropped in the sky and the castle courtyard was illuminated both literally and with a stunning performance by the 18 piece orchestra lead by Ken Rice .
A particular highlight was a stunning arrangement of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” alongside debut live performances of tracks from the upcoming album which Jimmy and Karrie are releasing with the Orchestra.

Sunday in Cahir saw rain almost stop play but the demand for live music was strong and people crowded into the Castle from 4.30pm to see Rockwell Music Academy showcase the immense range of talent from vocalists to brass to guitar and accordion for a rousing start to things. As the weather cleared and the Irish Chamber Orchestra came on stage, making a point of complimenting the young players from Rockwell and treated the historic castle’s audience to a virtuoso performance in a fabulous setting.

Both Ormond Castle and Cahir Castle were beautiful venues for this much welcomed opportunity to experience live music again.

Photo credits: Ken Coleman.