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2006-12-29 a message from James

Hi all,


I spent Christmas in Dublin, went to a lovely midnight mass/service at St Bartholomews Church in Ballsbridge (where I have sung many years ago) - it was a FULLY sung Eucharist - a beautiful church. On Christmas morning I sang at church in Dalkey where we did our concert in November, just a few little bits, and in the choir.

Thanks to EVERYONE, as always too many to name individually, for your many reviews, links to reviews, good wishes for the Christmas season, nice comments on my column and my story (actually the Weekender printed TWO of my stories last week in the Christmas edition, one a repeat from a few years ago), and all your other lovely general comments.......
Of course thanks again to everyone who sent lovely cards, and gifts, many gifts, again too many to mention individually......books, CHOCOLATES, ornaments, 'fabulous' cake, CHOCOLATES, flower bulbs, CHOCOLATES, cuddly toys, CHOCOLATES, biscuits, cakes, and CHOCOLATES.......

Glad you got my postcard - assume Veronika and the others who hate my writing could read it this time??? Many nice reviews have been printed lately - the one in the Western People for Donna's concert was a little strange in places? That man did not like the Church did he? Many people complained that the Church made a HUGE profit from that concert....... not a great message coming up to Christmas. It was a lovely night though, and Donna of course was SUPERB! The Western People by the way is a sister-paper of the Weekender. The Englewood review was nice too. That was a tough day, a long drive and then TWO SHOWS in one day. Tiring, so it is nice that it was appreciated.
With regard my 'art', I am a terrible artist!!! All the way through primary/national school I came top of art class by drawing things like I drew on the Christmas wishes! But when I got to the age of 10/11, my art talent froze in time, and never progressed since then. So I still draw like a 10 year-old! Ah is something I will do in my retirement. My father is actually going for art classes once a week.......!

The piece we premiered in NCH (apart from one performance in Dalkey Church!) was by Colin Mawby who wrote the "Ave Maria" on "So Strong". Both Matthew and I were in the RTE Chamber Choir / National Chamber Choir when we were studying, and Colin conducted it. A lot of my training was done there, and first recordings really. Colin is an AMAZING man, and incredible musician, a wonderful and very prolific and successful choral composer (several recordings available, Charlotte Church recorded one of his pieces too), and he is a good friend. He wrote us this "Panis Angelicus" especially for our individual voices, and we will really work on it now and make it our own I hope. Hope that clears up all that. So you did know his music before!

We are off to Cork soon, and are rehearsing tomorrow. David has been unavailable for quite some time for New Year, so we have a different MD, for one night only - Pat Fitzpatrick. But of course we need to show him what we do. Martin Quinn will also be in Cork, as will Danny, and Donna AND Deirdre! But no David.......

Love to each and EVERY one of you, and all the best to you ALL for 2007, James.