Mullingar Voices at Mullingar Arts Centre
Mullingar Voices returned to Mullingar Arts Centre for three nights the weekend before last. Arranged by Maedhbh Hughes, the show had a sell-out run in March 2022 and word of the unique offering spread quickly.
The successful formula was repeated this time, so the three evenings again featured songs written by local musicians, transformed into a choral celebration.
Pupils from 11 Westmeath schools sang, along with the Mullingar Arts Centre Gospel Choir and a number of local musicians. There were hits from Joe Dolan (Goodbye Venice), The Academic (Bear Claws, Different), The Blizzards (Trust me I’m a doctor), Flynn and Paulie Martin, as well as the first choral arrangements of Niall Horan’s songs Nice To Meet Ya, and This Town.
Claire Gilmartin from Mullingar Art Centre explained that Maedhbh Hughes took the original songs and arranged them for young voices. Since September she has made weekly visits to the schools for practice sessions with the children, and took some of the local musicians along with her from time to time.
Claire said the young singers loved meeting the professional musicians and they’re delighted with the opportunity to get on stage. “The students that I know who did it last year are still talking about it,” she said.
“Maedhbh has put a lot of work into it, as she wrote all the parts for the musicians as well, because there’s a live band of Mullingar artists as well.”