a unique evening of Songs and Stories

Armagh will celebrate the music of Charles Wood with a special concert, featuring some rarely heard gems interspersed with historical anecdotes. Audience members will be treated to a wonderful musical soirée by acclaimed Northern Irish mezzo-soprano Carolyn Dobbin, and pianist Ruth McGinley, in the magical setting of the Navan Centre on Saturday 12th October at 7.30pm.

The event is being organised by the Charles Wood Festival of Music and Summer School, who successfully held their annual Festival and Summer School in the city at the end of August in honour of the renowned musician and composer who was born at 11 Vicars’ Hill, Armagh, in 1866 and received his early musical education in the Cathedral opposite his home.

Although Wood is primarily remembered today as sacred composer, the Festival now also seek to promote his output in the genre of song, and in March of this year held their first ever Charles Wood Song Competition. Appropriately, one of the judges was Carolyn Dobbin, whose interest in local composers has prompted her to establish the Northern Irish Song Project in which she has collected and recorded forgotten songs by Northern Irish composers and also recorded newly written song cycles by current Northern Irish composers.  

At this unique autumn event, Carolyn will be accompanied by Ruth McGinley. Ruth gained recognition as one of Ireland’s leading pianists at a young age when she won the piano final of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in 1994. Since then, she performed extensively as a recitalist throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East, and is currently the accompanist of choice for BBC Northern Ireland broadcasts, both in live contexts and on recordings across a number of its programmes.

Tickets for the Songs and Stories evening, which includes post-performance cold buffet, are only £15, and are available online at www.visitarmagh.com or by contacting Armagh Visitor Information Centre (Phone 02837521800; Email vic@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk). 

Elise Crean