Bach and Handel for Ardee Baroque

ARDEE Baroque, Ireland’s only festival of orchestral baroque music, will take place over the weekend of 16 to 18 November in Ardee.

ARDEE Baroque, Ireland’s only festival of orchestral baroque music, will take place over the weekend of 16 to 18 November in Ardee.

“It’s going to be a fabulous three days of Handel, Bach and other composers,” said Ardee Baroque chairman John Rountree.

“We will have concerts by the Irish Baroque Orchestra, soprano Deirdre Moynihan, baroque guitarist Eamon Sweeney, as well as other events. The sheer quality of the music will be exceptional.”

Ardee Baroque is now in its ninth year and has established a reputation for exceptional music in atmospheric venues.

It was established in 2004 by County Arts Officer Brian Harten.

It is now organised by a festival board which has representatives from local businesses and the community.

The community aspect of the festival is very important. There are performances in each of the schools by members of the Irish Baroque Orchestra in the run-up to the programmed concerts now firmly established. John Rountree elaborates –

“Last year we worked with Ardee Concert band in hosting a concert by the Irish Baroque Orchestra especially for school children at the Bohemian Centre,” said John.

“We had over 200 children coming together from four different schools to hear baroque music. For me, that was one of the highlights. And it’s all part of making this music more accessible to everyone.”

The Irish Baroque Orchestra (IBO) will perform two different concerts at St Mary’s Church in the centre of Ardee over the weekend.

The concerts will feature Bach, including the wonderful fifth Brandenburg Concerto.

The orchestra will be lead by Grammy-nominated Monica Huggett.

In the run-up to the concerts, the orchestra will rehearse at Scoil Muire na Trócaire and perform for schools and at day-care centre in the town.

This year’s Ardee Baroque will also see the return of soprano Deirdre Moynihan who will perform Handel’s “Nine German Arias”.

Deirdre previously performed at Collon Church of Ireland during Ardee Baroque 2010, and the response was so positive that she has been invited back with a new concert programme “Hidden Handel”.